Road Trip! Women Abroad…

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Paddye Mann’s Studio Garden
This quite, peaceful bench is situated behind the studio and shop of Paddye Mann in Pakenham Ontario. Three women took a textile fuelled road trip. My fibre, costume, textile friend, Heather; knitting designer extraordinaire Elizabeth McCarten of Chez Lizzie blog, and I piled into my car and headed North. (Also check out Elizabeth’s post about this day)
Pat & Elizabeth chat, Heather explores.
I had met a wonderful designer this year, Paddye, of Paddye Mann Clothing and had an instant rapport. She’s a warm, creative and brilliant designer with a smart business located out in the back of beyond but a beautiful place. She visited me in Kingston a few months ago to talk over a knitting project of blankets she had….we nattered on, worked test swatches and she left with a knitting machine to try and a promise that I would be up to her studio soon.
Heather, Paddye & Elizabeth chat in the studio.

 Well, life, work and shows got in the way but by the time I was planning a trip I Heather and I talked about visiting Almonte and the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum there, somewhere I had never been. It was decided we’d to both in one day. Then the day before our planned trip I was chatting with Elizabeth and said ‘Wanna come?’… and our road trip was formed.

It was a wonderful day of four textile/clothing/woolly/creative/knitting/etc women together and Paddye was so generous with her time.

I know what it’s like to have a visitor to your studio, however welcome, you still have in the back of your mind all the things you have to get done in the remainder of the day. Paddye took us all over her beautiful studio and we got to talk with her right hand woman Pat. We met two amazing hand sewers who put the stunningly perfect final touches on the garments.

 We spent a bit of time exploring the internet as we shared resources and ideas, work we had done and useful links.

Button, button, who’s got the button.

Paddye even dug through some of her stash and gave us some buttons cards she wasn’t going to use…stashes always need padding and migration between colleagues works!

Paddye took a couple of sets of my hand made buttons and gave me a pack of Merino wool, also one of her patterns…the aim is to work on one of her designs with my knitting style….hmmm. As they say: stay tuned! I’ve not come up with anything in particular yet…first I need to make a knitting pattern from her paper pattern. Very exciting!

Heather tried on a beautiful jacket, the detail doesn’t really show up in the photograph but it did look stunning on her.

This LBD beside Heather has a little surprise in back…a delightful godet in the back skirt slit space.

Here I’m modelling a silk shawl which is to go with an orangey outfit which was still in progress, the fabric and structure were fascinating and Paddye encouraged me to think about making a triangular wrap along these lines…in knit. Hmmmm more thoughts & ideas.

 This photo shows a bit more of Paddye’s workroom and the lovely light and view of outside, yes that’s one of my knitting machines on the floor, I think she’s going to become a bit of a Singer knitter as well as working with her White machine.

Then, of course there are custom dress forms and piles of fabric ‘n’ stuff as in any worthwhile studio.

Paddye came with us to Almonte where we had lunch and then said our goodbyes as the three of us headed to the Textile Museum. I had never been there before and MUST return!!! we couldn’t really linger as we had spent a lot of time at Paddye’s and also wanted to get to Unravelled the yarn store in Merrickville. I was fascinated by the machinery and things like the old dress forms….I sooo want to have one of those or my show booth. Of course no one is shaped like this anymore, these were modelled around women who were wearing corsets and boning.

When we made it to Merrickville we just squeaked in before the 4pm closing time and Elizabeth got to try out the spinning wheel she wanted. Elizabeth is a drop spindle spinner but to make a lot of her own hand spun yarn a wheel will do the job faster.

Elizabeth ralling in Unravelled.

After quaffing ice cream cones we wended our way home in the late Summer afternoon along the St Lawrence River looking at the high water around the tiny cottage islands and reviewing our wonderful day. We are now bound and determined to make a weekend with Paddye here with us happen, we can experiment, visit each of the other women’s work spaces, brainstorm, network and CREATE!

My next venture is once again the 

at Grass Creek Park 
August 9, 10 & 11.

Come out for food, fun, animals, sheepdogs, sheep, Sheep to Shawl…
a day in the country.

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