Living Fiber History

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Fiber runs through my veins; I love the feel, colors, creativity, my results (most of the time) and enjoy sharing my knowledge. Probably, if you could test for it, it would show up in my DNA. Periodically, I dress up in a 1790’s or 1890’s wardrobe and act the part of a spinner and weaver of that time.

This past weekend, I enjoyed spinning and knitting the day away in 1790 at the Maine Forest and Logging Museum. I have reenacted the part here before, as well as at the Wilton historical society in Connecticut. If you have ever visited Kings Landing in Canada, Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, Williamsburg in Virginia or maybe a local historical society near where you live, you may have enjoyed the interaction.

Historical societies and museums occasionally look for volunteers. The appeal for me is to expose children and adults to fiber and the process of where their clothes come from. Visitors can try their hand at a drop spindle, weaving on a barn loom, carding fiber, learning about natural dyeing, see a basket of flax: tools and diagrams of how it is turned into linen…

Questions are asked and answered. Suggestions on starting with a pot holder or pin loom (inexpensive) and if the interest persists to try a rigid heddle loom, join a guild and rent a spinning wheel or floor loom. And because it is the 21st century, I recommend you tube videos.

Whether fiber runs through your veins or wants to…the internet is a wonderful place to start. Besides spreading my knowledge I love learning and there is always something for me to research and try. If you have questions…ASK! The answer is only a few keystrokes away.  Photo: Two of the fiberistas (young and old) I wove and spun with.