Yarn Spinners raise money for sisters

Ruth Johnson, left, of Utica, Ky., watches Debbie Webb of Clarkson, Ky., operate the spinning wheel, as Carol Mark and Steve Maxwell watch Becky Bertram of Owensboro during the March 2011 yarn spinners retreat.

During a retreat for yarn spinners at the Mount Saint Joseph Conference and Retreat Center in spring 2011, coordinator Debbie Webb decided to have a silent auction among members to raise money for the Ursuline Sisters.

“We raised $350 for the sisters. We started thinking about how successful it was, and decided we wanted to donate to the sisters in (Saint Joseph) Villa for Christmas,” Webb said.

During the spinning day on Nov. 12, the 17 participants donated 25-30 fiber-related items that were put up for bid, including yarn, a small loom, and rovings, the raw wool that is washed and carded and is ready for spinning into yarn, Webb said. Participants bid on the items, including one person who was at the Center for a Thomas Merton retreat.

The spinners raised $642 for the sisters in Saint Joseph Villa, the facility that provides nursing care for several of the senior sisters.

The yarn spinners have been coming to the Mount for four years as part of the Arts at the Mount program, and Webb said they plan to make the silent auction a tradition in the spring and fall to benefit the sisters.

Sister Mary Matthias, director of local community life at the Motherhouse, said she was unsure yet how the money will be used, but several options are being considered.

The next spinning day is Jan. 7, and the spring retreat is March 9-11.