SOAR (Spin-Off Autumn Retreat) Visits the Home Textile Tool Museum
On October 9, 2008, a beautiful autumn day at the peak of the fall color, fifty-five participants from SOAR at Pocono Manor took a two-hour bus ride to visit the Home Textile Tool Museum. Among the riders were spinners from most of the US, including Alaska. Foreign countries were represented by visitors from Peru, England, and the Netherlands. Accompanying the tour were notables from the spinning community, Amy Clark Moore, editor of "Spin-Off" magazine, and Florence Feldman-Wood, editor of the "Spinning Wheel Sleuth." For the museum, this was an exciting event and a great honor. For this special occasion we had nearly all of the museum's historic wheels up and running so that the visitors could spin on them.
Upon arrival, visitors were escorted to the basement of the Orwell Bible Church for a brief introduction to the museum, after which they were divided into six groups. Each group went to a different station to begin a round-robin tour of exhibits. The first station on the tour was Bill Ralph's Workshop with Bob Veleker of the Bradford County Historical Society as guide. Second on the tour were looms, capably explained by Melodie Gum. Esther Welden gave a brief presentation about plant dyeing at the third station. At the fourth stop, Pat Hilts discussed great wheels and the pendulum wheel in the museum collection. Fifth was a talk about Shetland shawls by Michelle Kaleta, and last on the tour Joy McCracken, Eve Herrington, Alice Clock, and Laurie Dunn demonstrated the museum's antique double-treadle, accelerated wheels, the double flyer wheels and many other unusual wheels.
After a short break for lunch, half of the group attended a lecture by Victor Hilts titled "Spinning in Orwell and the Endless Mountains: a Brief History." The other half of the group went to workshops that had been chosen previously. The workshops were: Spinning on Antique Flyer Wheels, Spinning on the Great Wheel or Pendulum Wheel, Natural Dyeing, Flax Processing, and Flax Spinning. At the end of an hour, the group from the lecture took workshops of their choice, and those from workshops attended the lecture. The following album of pictures shows that both visitors and staff found it a day well spent.
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