Hoosier Heritage Spinners and Weavers Guild

Helen Bills, a member of the Hoosier Heritage Spinners and Weavers Guild (Indiana), considers herself a “late bloomer.” She began spinning around 1992 (at the age of 71) and spins “for the fun of it, for the love of it and the historical connections to spinners of ages past.” As yarn began to accumulate, she “wanted to keep such yarns together, not lose them by mixing with commercial blends.” She started working on a vest made from squares on her Weavette looms, crocheting around the edges and whip-stitching them together, and noting progress in her journal beginning in December 2007. At the group’s annual retreat in New Harmony last May, members were bringing out shawls, sweaters, scarves, coats for the Show and Tell “even 4-paneled wall-hangings!” she says, “but I took my one vest and took part  . . . and had a wonderful time.” Over the years she credits the group with helping her learn four harness weaving, knitting, crocheting, bobbin lace making, tatting, dyeing, card weaving, kumihimo, split-ply braiding, felting, drop spindling, tapestry, triangle-loom weaving, basket weaving, beading, and inkling. Her only regret at the age of 88 is “I wish I had started sooner to learn about all the beautiful fibers this world has to offer.”

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