Learning to weave, spin, felt and more with 4-H

Have you ever wondered how to entice young people to want to learn how to weave, or spin, or felt, etc? This weekend I saw this very thing happening at the third annual Larimer County 4-H Fiber Fun Fest in Loveland, Colorado.

In talking with Event Coordinator, Kathy Wolfe, I learned that this event was inspired by the 4-H Heritage Arts Project that encourages its young members to explore the history of craft. This event was like a 4-H Convergence, even if it was on a much smaller scale. People attended from across Colorado and also from Wyoming and Nebraska. There were vendors, exhibits, a sheep shearing, and classes. The classes included weaving, knitting, felting, and other crafts.

The Northern Colorado Weavers Guild was there and helping people learn to weave, spin, and felt. Connie Mechem demonstrated on her Ashford loom that she purchased in New Zealand. I have never experienced anyone light up more over a rigid heddle loom. With a contagious enthusiasm, she shared a beautiful scarf in process with just the right amount of sparkle in the yarn. I hope she posts it to the Weaving Today Gallery when it is complete. Paula Becker was demonstrating on her Northwest table loom and proved to be a very upbeat and energetic weaver at the loom. These handweavers were joined by Monica Vargas and R. Perry Irons. Monica was working away on adorable felted critters. Don't miss them! You can see photos of her adorable creations here and here. R. Perry was busy at her spinning wheel and just as her fellow guild members, she seemed to be experiencing great joy in being able to share her craft.

There were many vendors offering yarns, roving, fleece as well as rigid heddle looms for learning to weave. Aizada Imports had an astonishing display of felted items from Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. In fact, this lovely lady, just had to come home with me. I'm even thinking she should become my new avatar!

Kudos to the Larimer County 4-H! I wish them much success with their fourth annual event next year. I know I'll be there! Let's all be thankful that the 4-H is bringing weaving and other fiber crafts to the next generation.

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