The December 22, 1932 issue of the Bossier Banner carried an article about how spinning at home was being done by a Bossier resident.

“Last week we received from a reader an account of the spinning of some Bossier-grown wool into a beret for a young miss of the current generation.  The article, which follows (In some places too complicated for a mere man to unravel, but perhaps comprehensible to our feminine readers) was written by Miss Gladys Foster and submitted by Miss Mary Gleason, our correspondent for Plain Dealing, Route One.  It contains a recounting of the entire process.”

“After rising Saturday morning, November 27th, Mrs. J. A. Strong, age seventy-six, brought in the old spinning-wheel that had been sitting aside for many years and put it together.  She sent one of her grandsons to get her a shuck.  He, not knowing anything about this, brought three large shucks.  Only two pieces were used.  These were put on the spindle to wind the thread on.”

“The rolls, which had been made the day before by Mrs. E. D. Foster, a daughter of Mrs. Strong, were brought in and the process started in the presence of many spectators.  Six of Mrs. Strong’s grandchildren were in the group.”

“The wool was put on the end of the needle, and the large wheel turned.  The roll, which was only about a foot long, was extended into about three or four yards.  This was twisted and rolled on the shucks.  A small broach [some sort of toothed tool] was made and removed.   Then another was put on.  After it was completed, Mrs. Strong sat down with the two broaches in her lap.  She let the two threads that came from the broaches twist together as she wound them into a ball.  The thread connecting the head to the large wheel was crossed and the process of twisting was begun.  After it was twisted it was hanked—that is, it was wrapped around her elbow and through her hand.  It was then washed in warm soapy water.”

“When the thread dried it was of a bright yellow color and was used in making a beret for the granddaughter of Mrs. Strong.”

To see an authentic spinning wheel, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center’s log cabin exhibit.

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or amiddlet@state.lib.la.us.