Frontier Homestead spins a yarn in more ways than one at ‘Sheep to Shawl’

Demonstrator spins wool into yarn, Frontier Homestead State Park Museum, Cedar City, Utah, Date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Frontier Homestead State Park Museum, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – The past comes alive Saturday at the Frontier Homestead State Park Museum “Sheep to Shawl” event, where visitors can learn through demonstration and hands-on activities how wool can be made into many different things.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sagebrush Fiber Artisans, a Cedar City-based group, will provide an interactive demonstration on the step-by-step journey “of taking wool from the sheep’s back to yours,” according to a press release from the museum.

Skeins of yarn, Frontier Homestead State Park Museum, Cedar City, Utah, Date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Frontier Homestead State Park Museum, St. George News
Skeins of yarn, Frontier Homestead State Park Museum, Cedar City, Utah, Date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Frontier Homestead State Park Museum, St. George News

“It’s kind of a combination of historical education and (an opportunity) to get the kids to relate to the different steps that you can take in dealing with sheep,” said Barbara Ackerman, a founding Sagebrush Fiber Artisans member. “I mean, Iron County is sheep country.”

The family-friendly event will offer a variety of ways for curious visitors to get their hands dirty at one of the many stations set up around the museum. Activities include washing, carding, spinning and dyeing wool, as well as knitting and weaving.

Sagebrush Fiber Artisans began as a weaving spinning group and expanded to include other areas of textiles arts, such as knitting, cross-stitch and embroidery.

“Part of our mission is educating the public in our craft,” Ackerman said. “The museum is a really good place as a stepping off for doing that, because the public is going to come in anyway — and weaving and spinning is a real basic pioneer craft that we do as hobbyists.”

The idea behind events that teach frontier skills like Sheep to Shawl is to provide a bridge between ancestors and descendants, said Ryan Paul, Frontier Homestead State Park curator.

One of the reasons we exist is to provide connections between the past, the present and the future,” Paul said.“You’ve heard the phrase ‘what’s old becomes new again;’ this process is again becoming en vogue in the process of people knitting and spinning.”

Paul added that the hope is that the community will begin to view the museum as “the new town square,” — a place for people to gather where they can use and share skills and knowledge that will connect with the past with a vision for the future. 

Event details

What: Sheep to Shawl

When: Saturday, March 19 | 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Frontier Homestead State Park Museum | 635 North Main St., Cedar City

How much: $1.50 per person | $5 for families | free to Friend’s Group cardholders.

Email: cmiller@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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