Spin a Fine Yarn

This knotty tale unravelled one day in 1999 in Tasmania, Australia’s southern island. Here is an extract from a newspaper article I wrote about my parents’ experience.

Expo, symposium: call it what you like. In amongst people of like mind you are offered the chance to re-create yourself, to find a new you.

But not usually this way.

Interest in spinning and weaving induced Roy and Marie Parker of South Auckland, New Zealand, to begin attending the bi-annual International Highland Spin-Ins held in Bothwell, Tasmania.

These days Roy and Marie not only go to catch up with trends in fibre crafts (wool, silk, hemp), but also to have a date with themselves. It all started when they first attended the event back in 1993. They had checked in, attached name tags, and gone their separate ways to view stalls.

Sounds of live demonstrations mingled with the smell of the canvas stretched over the floor, the live sheep outside, and the one roasting on the spit. A stall-holder noticed Roy’s name tag and stopped him.

“Husband! Roy Parker!” she cried.

The name Roy Parker is reasonably common, but when he spotted the stall-holder’s tag saying Marie Parker, he chuckled. “Wait here,” this Roy told the woman. “I’ve got a surprise for you.” The thread was definitely worth following!

The stall-holder did not know that before she could find her own Roy Parker, she would be confronted by another Marie Parker.

The knotty yarn unravelled, the delighted exclamations over, the two couples became firm friends. They have corresponded and met up at subsequent Spin-Ins which the Tasmanian couple were involved with running.

“It was hard to believe,” says the Kiwi Marie. “Not just to find another couple with the same name, but especially when it was someone you had so much in common with, and got on so well with.”….

Theirs has been a fine yarn, re-spun every two years, one extra ply added each year to strengthen the friendship.

Shortly after the death of my Dad (the Kiwi Roy) my husband and I visited Tasmania and met the other Marie and Roy. That other Marie is a real whizz at Hardanger embroidery!

 

 

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