Seed to Shawl

When you decide you need a new shirt or dress do you give much consideration into how it was made? If you are like most of us, we go to the store looking for something that catches our eye or fits our requirements or browse online for something that we might like. If you were forced to make your own clothing, there is a world of other things to think about and consider.

Our early pioneer settlers had to grow the cotton, raise the sheep or grow the silkworms to begin the long and arduous process of getting a new shirt. Fortunately, today we have things much easier but there are still people who like to keep the old ways going.

Linda Murie and Janet Smith are two of those ladies who love to weave and spin cotton and wool. Linda is a member of the Weaving Guild and often gives demonstrations of weaving techniques.

Janet Smith has been hand spinning for over 10 years and almost that long for Historic St. George, Live! She learned to spin while doing weaving classes with Sandra Sandberg, of the Weaving Guild. Sandra asked the class one day if anyone would be interested in learning to spin. Janet had purchased a used wheel a few years earlier, but was using it as a decorative piece only and thought it might be good to learn how to use it.

They worked with wool at first, moving on to other fibers. She tried some handpicked cotton and found she enjoyed working with it. She approached the people at Historic St. George Live to see if they would be interested in having a hand spinner as part of their pre-tour and they liked the idea. It was great for her to have a regular commitment because she got lots of practice. She still enjoys spinning a variety of fibers, but has an affinity for locally grown cotton. As Janet says, it is a connection to her pioneer heritage and the early settlers of the St. George area.

Linda and Janet will be at the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum for the third Weekend Event on, Saturday, Jan. 15, at 10 a.m. The Museum is located at 145 N. 100 E., St. George. The public is invited, and admission is free. There is handicap access. Call 435-628-7274 if you have questions. Current COVID protocols are being followed. Masks are not required but encouraged.

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