Text by Kirsten Bey, Nome Regional Coordinator, and photos by Amanda Tördal.
Vivian Osborne of Arctic Qiviut came to Nome for two days at the end of August to look into the possibility of buying qiviut from folks who wander the tundra and pick it up after the musk ox have shed their winter coats.
Vivian set up shop in the Karmun Center (social hall at the Nazarene Church) with her scale, samples of her yarns, computer with lots of photos of her mill and the milling process and samples of qiviut from raw to fully processed and all steps in between.
Many people stopped by with qiviut – this was a learning experience for those with qiviut: what is useable and how to clean it to make it useful to a fiber processor. Vivian found her trip very informative and fun. She is making plans to return to Nome next spring and perhaps follow the musk ox around as they shed and collecting some qiviut on her own.
In addition to Arctic Qiviut’s visit Nome held a Fiber Festival – many people came with their projects and tools. We were spinning – drop spindle & wheel, knitting and crocheting. We think we have some new recruits as several people were interested in the drop spindle and wheel demonstrations/instructions.
You can check out Arctic Qiviut at Vivian’s website, www.arcticqiviut.com, and schedule a visit to her mill the next time you’re in North Pole!