Space Coast Weavers & Fiber Artists to Host ‘Spinning with a Drop Spindle’ February 26

By  //  February 13, 2022

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Kelly Calkins of west Melbourne set to demonstrate

The Space Coast Weavers & Fiber Artists will meet on Saturday, February 26 at the Merritt Island Library, 1195 N. Courtenay Parkway.

BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – The Space Coast Weavers & Fiber Artists will meet on Saturday, February 26 at the Merritt Island Library, located at 1195 N. Courtenay Parkway.

Kelly Calkins, of West Melbourne, will present a program on “Spinning with a Drop Spindle.”

Plant and animal fibers have been twisted into string and yarn for thousands of years.

Imagine twisting grasses into a string with your fingers or rolling wool fibers up and down your thigh until they twist together forming a string, cord, or yarn.

Over time people began to use sticks and then added weights to keep the stick spinning as long as possible. Eventually, someone inserted the stick into the middle of the weight, which came to be called the whorl, and the drop spindle was born.

Until the invention of the spinning wheel, all yarn was spun on a drop spindle. A stick with a weight that is spun and dropped twists fibers held in the hand.

This simple device enabled people to spin while walking from place to place, watching flocks, or sitting by a fire. Today it is a preferred introduction to spinning and provides a relaxing, almost meditative, activity that is easily mastered.

Kelly Calkins is a hand spinner, weaver, and former shepherd. She enjoys working with wool from sheep to shawl, enjoying the process as much as the finished product, and she enjoys weaving and knitting with her handspun yarns.

She will demonstrate the use of the drop spindle and attendees will have a chance to try spindle spinning with different types of sheep’s wool. Please bring your drop spindle if you have one. There will be a few spindles available to share.

Since 1983 SCW&FA has been Brevard’s go-to guild for fiber arts: spinning, weaving, basketry, rug hooking, and more.

The guild helps fiber artists, beginning or advanced, learn through workshops and the informal exchange of ideas.

They also work to educate the public about fiber arts. Meetings are free and open to the public. For more information call Jeanie McCormack at 321-266-1610

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