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ALEXIA.JOHNSTON
@alliedpress.co.nz

Festival can take credit for attracting first-time visitors to the town.

Yui Takenokuchi, of Osaka, Japan, who is on a working holiday in Queenstown, decided to visit Alexandra for the first time because she was “interested in the busking” at the festival, which ran from October 27 to Sunday.

While attending one of the performances on the green, between St Enoch’s Church and Community House, Miss Takenokuchi explored other events taking place at the festival.

That was when she discovered the Alexandra Spinners and Weavers Group.

Keen to learn more, Miss Takenokuchi sat down at a spinning wheel with Anne Dougherty.

“It’s a really good idea,” Miss Takenokuchi said, of the events and programmes on offer.

“I would never have come to Alexandra [if it was not for the Thyme Festival].”

The Alexandra Spinners and Weavers Group had set up in the church hall, with the aim of passing on some of their many skills and techniques to anyone of any age wanting to learn.

Weaver Glenda McCreadie had her table loom with her last week to show visitors how it worked.

Giving it a go . . . Loretta Bush (left) learns the art of weaving from Glenda McCreadie during the Alexandra Spinners and Weavers Group open day, held as part of the Alexandra Thyme Festival. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

Weaving was a skill she took up in the mid-1990s while living on a farm at Galloway.

Mrs McCreadie also spins wool.

Although an avid fan of her traditional spinning wheel, she has developed RSI in her heels due to the process so has started using an electric wheel.

“It’s not easy, but it serves a great purpose for me because I wouldn’t be able to do any spinning anymore [without the electric option].”

The Alexandra Spinners and Weavers Group, which works towards supporting people in the community by making items for them, meets on the first Wednesday of every month at Community House.