Spinning historic yarns

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Believe it or not, wool sweaters don't really come from a department store.

Volunteers at the Littleton Museum showed every step in the process at Sheep to Shawl Day on May 18, from shearing the wool off a sheep's back to spinning to weaving.

“Everything we use today comes from somewhere,” said Cory Van Zytveld, a historical interpreter at the Littleton Museum who organized the event. “We're hoping people come away with a better connection to the things they own and wear.”

The industrialized process may be sped up these days, said Laura Ohmdahl as she spun wool into thread on a 140-year-old spinning wheel in the museum's 1860s-era cabin.

“But the old ways still work,” Ohmdahl said. “This spinning wheel was made before the Civil War, and it performs beautifully. Lots of the electronics in our homes won't be working five years from now.”

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