CASSADAGA - The Hilltop Spinners is a group of people who are keeping the old art of using spinning wheels to make yarn. The group was formed in 1978, and has members from Southwestern New York, Northwestern Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. Nanette Knappenberger of Westfield is the president of the organization. Spinning yarn is an old art used for centuries.
Spinning wheels were used on ships to make the yarn for sails, and at homes for making clothes. Wool is sheared from the sheep, washed and combed, and then spun into yarn.
"It is the twist of the fibers which gives the yarn strength," said Knappenberger.
Shown in the photograph is Kent Knappenberger from Westfield with his spinning wheel making yarn.
There are many kinds of spinning wheels, and the twist is the important factor in making yarn. The Hilltop Spinners meet at various locations on the second Saturday of the even months, and also during the Chautauqua County Fair.
Recently the group met at the Cassadaga American Legion Hall for their annual Christmas meeting and luncheon. Some were spinning, some knitting and everyone was singing Christmas songs.
The next gathering of the group will be in Youngsville, Pa., at the Rouse Estate on the second Saturday in February. New members and visitors are always welcome.