A weekend getaway to Central Pennsylvania

Spencer Lepler

Starting last Friday we took a weekend trip up to Central Pennsylvania. We stopped at the Mannings on the way up. We were delayed by the thunderstorms and ended up getting there just before they closed at 4:30. The staff were wonderful and stayed open for us; we even got some helpful advice from Tom on how to make an improvised readel for our Ashford four shaft table loom. After stocking up on cones of weaving yarn we made our way to our evening accommodations. We stayed at Eby's Pequea Farm Bed & Breakfast in Gordonville, PA. They have two properties and we stayed at their Cape Cod house; they also have a farm house bed and breakfast just around the corner which has been in their family for over 180 years. Mel and Joyce were not able to be there but arranged for our rooms to be ready and unlocked when we got there, which was great because when we arrived it was pouring rain and we got soaked. That evening their son, Matt, stopped by to check on us and helped us order delivery so we didn't have to head back out in the storms. The next morning we drove through one of the last remaining covered bridges, just down the street, and over to the farm house which is owned by their other son Mike and his wife. We watched and helped Bethany, Mike's daughter, milk the cows, feed the calves, and collect the chicken eggs. After that we were on our way to explore Lancaster County. We went to The Quilt Museum at The Old Country Store in Intercourse, PA where we got inspired by the colors and patterns of the quilts on display. We also stopped by The Lancaster Yarn Shop across the street. We met Wendy East and had a lovely conversation about fiber crafts. She recommended we visit The Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, where apparently there are a lot of looms and other fiber crafts. Unfortunately we didn't have the time to go there this trip, but it's somewhere we'll definitely head to on our next trip up here. We drove from Intercourse to Bedford where we spent the night. The next morning we went to The National Museum of the American Coverlet in Bedford. This museum, and the good folks who work there, is a great resource for any one interested in early American fiber crafts. Not only do they have a huge collection of coverlets (a type of woven blanket or bedspread) but they also have spinning wheels, weasels, and looms on display. The museum gift shop has historic reproduction fabrics as well as hand woven reproduction coverlets and other items. The museum is also the only place you can currently purchase two great books - Building A 4-Shaft PVC Loom by Dave Holly and Stay At Home And Use Me Well by Ron Walter (a catalog of one of their past exhibits which doubles as a resource for identifying antique fiber tools). They have some great upcoming events, including a fiber retreat on September 22 and a seminar titled "Coverlet College" from September 28-30.

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