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what up, stitches One of my favorite properties of wool is that pure merino can absorb one-third its own weight in water before it starts to feel wet, which is why wool sweaters have been the garment of choice for going out in cold and wet weather for centuries. The cells in wool fibers draw in H20, break the hydrogen bond in a chemical reaction and produce heat. Merino wool is even naturally anti-microbial, because the fibers’ uneven, negatively-charged microscopic surfaces discourage bacteria. It’s also fire-resistant. You can appreciate the coziness of a wool garment without busting out the microscope, though. Throughout the years, cultures across the globe have relied on their flocks of sheep, goats or alpacas for meat, milk and fleece. Many cultures still do, like in the Peruvian highlands and Tibetan steppes. Yarn can be knitted, crocheted or woven into many things, including the usual suspects, like hats or sweaters. But it’s really a medium that can be turned into anyWHAT: Big Sky Fiber Arts Festival

holding a PBR without attracting the attention of cops.) And I haven’t even gotten into the varieties of fibers, from silk to cotton to bison to dog (really) that all have unique properties.

So as a knitter, I’m stoked to wander around the Big Sky Fiber Arts Festival and appreciate WHEN: Fri., June 14-Sun., June 16, 9 AM to 5 PM not only the time-honored traditions of crafting, but also to plot my own subversive and funny new takes on it. The festival includes a livestock HOW MUCH: $5 per day/$10 for festival pass show, fiber arts showcase, yarn stash sale and workshops on spinning, weaving and dyeing. Knitting might be your grandma’s hobby. But it can thing you like, from skull-patterned arm warmers to a stuffed Henry Rollins doll to a beer koozie. (I made be yours, too. mine specifically so I could stand outside venues —Kate Whittle WHERE: Ravalli County Fairgrounds

nightlife End your afternoon with a fine glass of grape juice when the Missoula Winery hosts its tasting room from 2–7 PM Mon.-Sat. and 2–5 PM on Sun. 5646 W. Harrier. Call 830-3296 and visit Put a li’l swing in your Sunday when Western Union plays the Top Hat from 7-9 PM. Free, all ages. Close out the weekend in style at the Badlander’s Jazz Martini Night, with $4 martinis from 7:30 PM to midnight, plus live jazz and DJs. Starts at 8 PM with Josh Farmer, The Vanguard Combo and Front Street Jazz. Free. Bellow out your favorite pop tune so you can impress your friends and perhaps win a prize during a karaoke contest this and every Sun. at the Lucky Strike Casino, 1515 Dearborn Ave., at 9

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PM. Free. $3 Fireball specials. Call 721-1798.

MONDAYJUNE17 Get fired up about climate change when legendary Montana author Rick Bass reads and talks about energy activism, including his arrest for civil disobedience while protesting Keystone XL and the Otter Creek Coal Mine. Starts at 7:30 PM at Shakespeare and Co., 103 S. Third St. Free. School’s out for summer and Sally and Bob are already fighting and bored, so check out the plethora of YMCA summer camps that begin today, from soccer to gymnastics to skating to babysitting. Visit the Y at 3000 S. Russell or call 406-721-9622 for more.

The Tyler Hobbs Football FIT Camps kick off (pun intended) starting today through Thu., June 20. Other camps are Mon., July 8Thu., July 11 and Mon., July 29Thu., Aug. 1 at Big Sky High School. Kids third to eighth grade are welcome. Learn more by calling 509-768-0263 or emailing Keep the pre-teens busy this summer and check out the series of camps offered at The Girls Way, 1515 Wyoming St. Ste. 300, which start today and include hiking, biking and sewing. Learn more at Come on down for Moscow Monday at the Montgomery Distillery, 129 W. Front St., where the distillery redistributes the wealth. (It ain’t called Wall Street Wednesday, amiright?) $1 from every drink sold is donated to a different non-profit each Monday. Family friendly, from noon–8 PM. (See News.)

Missoula Independent  

Western Montana's weekly journal of people, politics and culture

Missoula Independent  

Western Montana's weekly journal of people, politics and culture