Nome is a community rich in talented people.
Many are gifted fiber artists happy to share their knowledge.
One is a musher who has run both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod,
she is also a retired lawyer and public defender.
When she isn't training her dogs
she develops classes for the University of Alaska, Northwest Campus,
and knits beautiful things, some of which can be seen at Qiviut Fever,
She invited us over to explain how to work with the qiviut after it has been collected.
Shortly before we had arrived she had received a box in the mail.
Six months prior she had combed out a muskox hide to collect the
soft under-fur...the qiviut.
The collection was sent to a mill who specializes in exotic fibers.
From one muskox hide she received this yarn,
three bags of soft roving (one is pictured in the bag)
and a large bag of waste fibers which she will use for practice, stuffing or ????
The color varies between browns and grays depending on the critter.
She also collects qiviut from willows/brush,
and explained how we will need to wash ours and make it useable for spinning.
She taught the Crafty Wife how to use the drop spindle,
but chooses to use the spinning wheel for her personal work.
There are people who use the drop spindle exclusively for their yarn.
To make it two ply, they use three spindles...
one for each yarn, and the third for the combined yarn.
When we went home, the Crafty Wife continued to practice.
She was able to get it spinning pretty quickly!
She is looking forward to making some wonderful things.....