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Weavers of Char-Lee ready to ROC

By Staff | Jan 4, 2018

In honor of a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages, the 14th annual ROC Day will take place this weekend in Fort Myers.

Hosted by the Weavers of Char-Lee, the event will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, at 2301 First St. ROC Day, or Distaff Day, was a holiday marking the end of the Christmas when weavers and spinners resumed their work at their spinning wheels.

Visitors will have an opportunity to learn what weaving and spinning entails.

“We’re trying to share our knowledge and inspire other people to perhaps become a weaver or a spinner,” Rose Young, a member of the Weavers of Char-Lee, said.

Admission is free, and there will be hands-on activities.

“They can sit down at a loom and try the loom, or a spinning wheel,” she said.

There will be an assortment of them for visitors to view and try, including a rigid-heddle loom, floor and table looms, a drop spindle spinner and an inkle loon, which is used to make belts and straps.

“These are all gadgets we use,” Young said.

“People will be able to try out all these different things,” she added.

This is the first time that the event will take place at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers. For several years, ROC Day was held at the Cape Coral-Lee County Public Library.

“We typically have hundreds of people who come,” Young said of the attendance.

She added that the group is hoping for a big turnout this year.

In addition to the demonstrations and hands-on activities, the event will feature a project from one member that has taken five years to complete. The woman collected a specific type of seashell and then used the hairs on the shells to spin and weave together the piece. It will be on display for the public.

“We also have an exhibit in the Sidney & Berne Davis,” Young said.

The Weavers of Char-Lee display will be located on the Second Floor in the Capital Gallery. The exhibit will be open until Jan. 28, before traveling and ending up at the Cape library in March.

The center is also hosting a workshop on the craft every Wednesday in January.

“The workshops are all for beginners, people who have never tried it before,” she said.

Young encouraged the public to stop by.

“Textiles are fun,” she said. “They can learn how they are made.”

Founded several years ago, the Weavers of Char-Lee has about 50 members. Young explained that the group is made up of men and women and they meet monthly; the meetings are open to the public.

For more information, visit the “Weavers of Char-lee” on Facebook or call 239-540-5836.

For details on the workshops at the center, visit www.sbdac.com.