Winter Adventure

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Hi Everyone —

While watching all the angst about cancelling the NJNA meeting due to weather…..this is me coming in after a trek to the Barrow grocery store in about -15 degrees and windy and dark.  I was told it was a two-block walk, but actually it was more like six blocks each way.  The snow was too cold to be slippery, but I was walking blind!

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One night we went to the Heritage Center and had a private tour of the whaling museum.  I thought you all might enjoy seeing this Inuit sewing kit.  You can see the sharp leather cutter and the awl for making holes in the leather all contained nicely on a sealskin thong.  So clearly we needlepointers were not the first to invent scissor fobs!  The small leather gathered piece is a thimble.  The floss above the tool is caribou gut which was used as thread.

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Whales were another source of fiber — this picture shows a baleen (one of hundreds in each whale’s mouth).  The baleen is hard with brittle threads (cilia?) but after soaking, you can pull on a thread and pull it all the way to the end of the baleen.  We saw baleens that were about five feet long to ones that were about two feet long — apparently the length depends upon the location in the whale’s mouth.  These threads were traditionally used to weave baskets.

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I hope you find this as fascinating as I did.  I think I would really love to take a course in making a pair of traditional mukluk boots!  Do you think ANG would consider it for a national seminar?

Cheers, Rosie

 

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One response »

  1. Leave to you, Rosie, to find needlework even a remote and brutally cold village such as Barrow, Alaska! I hope that your coat kept you warm on your journey to and from the grocery store! Welcome back to warmer climes. Sue

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