Roberta McKinney

The wonderful thing in belonging to a guild is to watch what other people do and then you get inspired by them, and you sort of take their ideas and work with them and somehow come up with something of your own.

Roberta McKinney learned to spin after raising sheep in the late 1970s on her husband's 150-year-old family farm outside of Brampton, Ontario. Soon after learning how to spin, she transitioned into weaving. After moving to Kingston in 1993, McKinney joined the Kingston Handloom Weavers and Spinners to find support and encouragement from fellow weavers. She has served on the Guild's Board of Directors as President and Vice President. McKinney is heavily involved in the fibre arts. She is a member of the Handcrafters Guild of America and served on the Board of the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners as the Eastern Ontario Representative.  

McKinney continued the Beyond Beginners weaving workshops that had been in existence for many years at the Kingston Handloom Weavers and Spinners and created a mentorship program within the Guild, which pairs new members with experienced weavers and spinners. She and Susi Reinink also organized the 2005 Ontario Handweavers and Spinners Conference, which was held in Kingston at Queen's University including the juried show at Agnes Etherington Art Centre. 

McKinney discusses her studio in Chaffey's Lock, Ontario and how she learned to spin and weave.

Roberta McKinney discusses her studio. 


A woven shawl made by Roberta McKinney.