Arts fest: Weaver welcomes contributions to community tapestry

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Your favourite sweater could become part of Creemore history.

During the Festival of the Arts weekend, weaver Emily Worts will have her loom set up at the Creemore Log Cabin during an interactive display.

“Weaving is basically over, under, over, under,” according to Worts. “Anyone with some basic fine motor skills can do it.”

She will be offering instruction on-site, and will have plenty of raw material available but if you have a favourite garment, blanket, or bit of yarn you’d like to contribute feel free to bring it to the log cabin and weave it into the tapestry. She says the response to a call-out to the community looking for contributions has been amazing, and she now has a basement full of yarn. Last week a man showed up at her door with a big bag of knitting which has been stored at his home between Lavender and Duntroon since his mother died 30 years ago.

“It’s all these squares in pink and burgundy,” says Worts “like she was going to make a blanket.”

Worts will incorporate some of those squares into the tapestry being created at the log cabin.

She plans to collect names and ages of all who participate, and hopefully capture some of their impressions of the project. The goal is that the tapestry will eventually be displayed somewhere in the community along with the story of how it was created. A part-time teacher, Worts loves to share her passion for weaving.

“Lots of people have asked for lessons,” she says, “ but I’m not sure where to find a room full of looms for a class of adults. I teach kids on paper plates.”

Five years ago, Worts and her husband purchased a cottage on Bayfield Inlet north of Parry Sound.

“It was actually more of a shack with a giant room where the ceiling had collapsed where the previous owner, a woman named Peg used to weave,” she recalls. “She would make her own dyes using lichen.”

The story resonated with Worts and during a pandemic Zoom call, she and a couple of friends decided they needed a hobby. Worts thought she’d like to take up weaving.

“My husband got me a starter kit for Christmas,” said Worts. “It came with an online tutorial.”

After three hours of online instruction, Worts was hooked.

In hindsight she says, it is not surprising how obsessed she became with weaving.

“I’ve travelled a lot, and I always find myself drawn to weaving villages. I’ve gathered tapestries from all over the world. My parents actually have a framed weaving of mine from when I was eight.”

Years ago, she learned to weave baskets from strips of cedar, a skill she shared with a group of friends at a recent cottage weekend.

Worts jokes that her weaving habit drives her husband crazy.

“It feels like I’m having an affair with my loom,” she said. “I sneak away and do it whenever I need quiet.”

To participate, visit Creemore Log Cabin at 165 Library St., between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

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