Posted: Aug 3, 2012 8:30 PM by Katy Harris - KAJ News
Updated: Aug 6, 2012 9:14 AM
KALISPELL- A group of Flathead Valley residents are helping keep an ancient craft alive. The Alpine Spinners and Weavers all share a love of spinning a good yarn.
"Spinning is actually kind of like meditation," said Alpine Spinners member Linda Christensen. "It is very meditative and calming and with the world being crazy like it is it just is really a nice thing to do."
Another member, Judie Overbeek, said, "It's something that we strictly do because we love fiber and we love to watch it transform itself under our hands into something beautiful.
The club meets on the first Wednesday of every month, and spins every color under the sun in fibers of wool, cotton and silk.
Spinning tufts of raw fiber, called "roving," into yarn, to be then woven or knitted, was once the main way of making clothing, though machine manufacturing has mostly replaced it today.
Overbeek started spinning 35 years ago when she lived in Australia and now, she tries to teach spinning to young children, so they can pass it on when they grow-up.
"It's work, you have to make time for it," Overbeek said, "And a lot of people now are so busy that these things don't happen until maybe they retire or the children move out of the house.
"I'm concerned that if we don't pass it on to the next generation that it will die out because it's no longer a necessity," she added.
Christensen said it's important to keep learning skills. "It keeps you alive," she said.
If you're interested in learning to spin, the Alpine Spinners and Weavers will be at the Northwest Montana Fair in Kalispell, August 15 to AUgust 19, where they will be spinning in the Expo Building.