LAKEWOOD - The Hilltop Spinners recently met at Emeritus of Lakewood.
The Hilltop Spinners are a group of people who meet together to keep the old art of the use of spinning wheels known to all. The group was formed in 1978 and meets on the second Saturday of the even months in various locations.
The members are from southwestern New York, northwestern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. Nanette Knappenberger of Westfield is the president of the group.
John Sipos of Cassadaga, left, and Bill Meyers of Warren put wool fibers on a hat form, and using felting needles, a hat is being created.
The use of spinning wheels dates back many centuries. The twist of the fibers is what gives the yarn strength. Spinning wheels are in many varieties, and small ones were used on ships to help make sails. Fibers are from sheep, angora rabbits, angora goats, llama, alpaca, etc. After the wool from sheep for example is sheared, then it is washed, and combed so that all the fibers are going in one direction. Wool fibers have a "barb" on them which makes the fibers adhere to each other. Wool can be made into felt, using water, agitating it so that the fibers adhere to each other, or by using special wool needles. This process is then called needle felting. At the recent gathering of the Hilltop Spinners at Emeritus in Lakewood, there were many present for demonstrations with the spinning wheels, and two people were creating a hat using needle felting.
The next meeting of the Hilltop Spinners will be on Saturday, June 8, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Rouse House in Warren. New members and visitors are welcome.