Salt Spring Weavers and Spinners Guild
After a delightful fall of fibre-filled activities, including a successful guild sale, beginner spinning lessons, and wonderful presentations from guild members and visitors, the Guild spent the last meeting of the year sharing stories of past Christmas traditions and present Christmas gifts. Here is just a little taste of that final meeting to share with everyone.
My collage project this year was designed to send a Merry Christmas for family and friends far away. I would like to share this with the Weavers and Spinners too. If you are in the Country Grocer Cafe, you can see the original.
There is no Father Christmas
Before moving to Canada, my family, including my sister and I lived in a small village (hamlet) in Warwickshire, the very heart of England. It was post war Britain and the country was just starting to recover while rationing was still in evidence for such things as sugar. My brother was not yet a twinkle in my mother’s eye the year I determined that Father Christmas was another hoax intended to make me ‘be good’ if I wished to ensure there was sufficient bounty on Christmas morning. My sister was two years younger than I and still bought in to the myth. A week before Christmas, I took her on a quiet hunt through cupboards and wardrobes in our house until we found some of our gifts where they had been hidden ready to wrap. There were fox fur gloves, warm and soft and hidden in the back of a draw; rather disappointing actually since clothing of any sort was not high on either our lists.
“You see! I told you so” I said. “There is no Father Christmas”.
Tradition in England was to put up the tree on Christmas Eve. That evening, my sister and I took the milk can and walked up to Mr. Campbell’s farm to ‘fetch the milk’. It was twilight and very cold. Cow’s breath was steaming out of the barn and we heard the gentle thunder of rich milk hitting the side of the pails as we stepped inside and into the warmth, rich with the smell of hay and sweet milk. Our pail was filled and we paid our sixpence and started back down the hill toward home. I was sad that I had spoiled Christmas, both for me and for my sister and remember wondering why I had done that.
It was now very dark as we turned the corner where our cottage came into view. Suddenly, the cottage windows lit up with colour as our father plugged in the lights on the Christmas tree.
“Look”, said my sister clapping her hands. “Father Christmas is coming after all”.
That evening, after decorating the tree and following a quick supper, we got into the car and drove to town to deliver our Christmas gifts to our aunties, uncles and cousins. On our way home with my sister asleep in the back seat, my father turned to me and said “I know you probably don’t believe in Father Christmas any more, but don’t tell your sister; not yet. Let her enjoy believing for another year”!
“Don’t worry” I said. “She still believes”.
It was a lovely Christmas. And though the gloves were wrapped and waiting for us, so were other gifts, proof that even an older sister can sometimes be wrong.
A first attempt a Fair Isle knitting turned out rather well – fortunately for this year’s Christmas gifts! The pattern, called Tourbillon, can be found on Knitty.
I made it with sock-weight superwash from Elderberry Yarns.
Guild members put endless energy into producing beautiful gifts for the Guild Sale this October. See the photo gallery for more images!