My day job (during tourist season)…

Asselstine Woolen Factory- Upper Canada Village

Asselstine Woollen Factory- Upper Canada Village

I work in the Asselstine Woollen Factory at Upper Canada Village.  I have been working at the village for 7 years, and in the Woollen Mill for 4.  We are a fully operational, water turbine driven woollen mill.  We have all the machinery necessary to make blankets and knitting yarn.  Our spinning jack and our set of 3 carding machines were manufactured in Massachusetts in 1867 and we also have a blanket loom from the 1840’s.

I work with two men, Mark and Ron who maintain (read constantly have to troubleshoot) and run the machinery.  I do the handwork…mending the blankets, tying the fringe on the ends of blankets, etc.  I also run the doubling frame (plying machine) to make the knitting yarn over the lunch hour most days.

Ron in front of a carding machine

Ron in front of a carding machine

Mark at the spinning jack

Mark at the spinning jack

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Some of the things I like about my job:

1) I am paid to talk to people about wool

2) Sometimes I get to knit at work, if I have no blankets to mend or fringe

3) As I mend the blankets, I hear people hit the top of the stairs and say ‘wow’

4) I have not given up hope that Ryan Gosling will visit his family in nearby Cornwall and come for a day trip to the village.  Then he would stand in front of me and say ‘hey girl, would you explain 19th century textile production to me?’

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