In the Middle Ages, January 6 -- "Old Christmas " -- was celebrated with one last party before the household resumed its normal routine after the holidays.
The "normal" household routine was strongly associated with the constant chore of spinning and weaving -- so after this last holiday celebration it was time to return to spindles and looms. It all came to be known as "Distaff Day" or even "Roc Day." The drop spindle all women carried in their apron pockets to use during odd moments of idleness was called their roc.
Modern Fiber Guilds have revived the old custom of making this day a celebration, often holding special meetings or workshops. This year, our Guild will observe Distaff Day by gathering at the home of Kelly Fort for a "Spin-In" on Saturday, January 15, from 2:00 - 4:00 PM.
Bring your wheels and your spindles if you have them. If you don't have the tools or the skills, this is an opportunity to see the process, try your hand at it, and learn some of the fine points of spinning raw fiber or roving into thread to suit your purpose. Do you want fine or full thread? Single or double twist? As we discovered in June when we tried drop spindles, an afternoon is long enough for a novice to make some headway.
What a great way to kick off a New Year! Cheers!