JACKSON’S ARM — Everyone loves a homemade gift. People like Jackson’s Arm native Dianne Stuckless will supply those treasured mittens, hats and headbands at this weekend’s Christmas Craft Fair.
Stuckless only recently started spinning wool into mittens, socks, cowels and headbands on a foot-powered spinning wheel. She’s become so adept at it that others have taken notice.
“Once I got good at it I was asked to go and show others how it was done,” she said. “And I’ve had a few people that seem to be very interested in it.”
Stuckless started demonstrating the craft at the local school, as well as at the recreation centre in Jackson’s Arm. She was asked to demonstrate it at this weekend’s craft fair, but she may not be able to make it due to a prior commitment.
But her products will be there. She’s made headbands, mittens, cowels and hats for the sale.
“This is something I remember my parents doing, spinning wool,” she said. “But by the time I got old enough to learn it, they had given it up. We were shown how to do it last year, and I’ve stuck with it.”
She and other members of her craft group, the Batty Catters of Jackson’s Arm, learned how to spin the homespun wool together. Although they use new wheels, it’s something, Stuckless said, that really takes her back to the old ways. She doesn’t just make items to sell, she said, as her children and grandchildren love getting homemade Christmas presents.
Between 15 and 20 craftspeople will be setting up at the Christmas Craft Fair this weekend at the new Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook City Hall.
The crafters have their work cut out for them, as the arts centre is as of yet unfinished, which fair organizer Brenda Stratton said presents no major difficulty, since the fair vendors are craft-minded and can make any space attractive.
“We wanted to get up and running in that space and we didn’t want to wait,” said Stratton, who hopes to make the fair an annual event.
“All the craftspeople will come together and decorate and make it look festive, it’s a way to encourage the general public to come into the space.”
Stratton, a board member with the centre, said other items at the fair will include Christmas wreaths, jewelry and glassware, as well as craft demostrations and live music.
The fair opens this afternoon (Nov. 30) and runs until Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.