Pinellas Weavers Guild (Florida)

The Pinellas Weavers Guild (Florida) is conducting its monthly programs with the yearlong theme "Fiber Arts from Start to Finish." The first centered on raising and spinning natural fibers including alpaca and cotton. Two kinds of carding were demonstrated using handcarders and a carding drum. Handspindle spinning and spinning wheel use were followed by some members trying spinning for the first time. Karen Van Wie, a member who works with wood as well as fibers, made and donated twenty-four Turkish handspindles to the guild to sell. With a pair of removable crossbars, this style of spindle allows the spinner to wind yarn around the crossbars on the spindle after spinning, then pull the bars out to extract a center-pull ball. In December, members attended a Neolithic Loom Workshop at Oak Hammock Farm in Wesley Chapel. Using principles from 2,500 years ago, participants built a group loom using a live oak tree to weave a length of cloth from yarn produced from wool of the Shetland sheep raised there for handspinning and weaving purposes.

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