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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A real spinning wheel!

Woo hoo!!! I'm soooo excited today! I found an antique German spinning wheel on Craig's List in Iowa City. I corresponded with the owner of it, and she needed a small repair done on an armoire that she had. She offered the spinning wheel (which does need some minor repair) in exchange for the repair. Kelly, being a woodworker, was perfect for the job! So, off he went, and today he brought home this darling wheel.
All I know is that it is German, and that it belonged to the woman's grandmother. The woman herself came to the US from Germany as a teen, and I estimate she is in her mid 40s. Does anyone know anything about German wheels and what kind this might be, etc? I would love to learn more about it.

As you can see, it has these little white headed pins or tacks all the way around the wheel and at the base. I don't know if they are original, but the heads feel cold to the touch, as if they might be glass and not plastic.
I just can't wait to learn how to use it. We are taking a class starting on Jan 13 to learn how to spin our own wool. We will learn drop spindle and wheel techniques. Then of course I will have to wait for spring and our own shearing, but in the meantime, I have purchased some lovely rovings for practice.
Hope that someone can tell me more about my new (to me!) wheel! I will be doing a little bit of dusting and cleaning of it soon. I love it that it will be put to use again for its original purpose. Not soon enough for impatient little me!

12 comments:

thecrazysheeplady said...

That's a beautiful wheel! Great find. I would guess the beads are glass. Don't be discouraged if you have trouble when you first try spinning on it. In fact, you should probably learn on a modern, know it's working right wheel, so you don't get frustrated. Sometimes the old wheels are a little fussy and you have to work through some kinks to get to know each other ;-). Have fun!

Mare said...

I wonder how that woman could part with her Grandmother's wheel??? It is beautiful! I treasure my grandmother's knitting needles, just because her hands worked them...But it is your gain for sure! I want to learn how to spin using a drop spindle. I wish i could take the class with you....Please let us know how it goes and what you learn about your new spinning wheel.

Mom L said...

Wow! All full of admiration here - for the adorable wheel and the fact that some of you out there actually spin wool and make things!!! I did learn to knit and crochet while waiting for Diane to face the world over 38 years ago, but my preparation involved buying colorful non-wool yarn from the store!

And next time you have a run to Sioux City, holler at Diane so she can meet you there!!!

Lola Nova said...

Wow, how cool! I am excited for you.
By the way, your package has been delayed due to a ferocious house cat that mauled some hens beyond recognition. I need to re-make and hope to have it to you soon.

colorandtexture said...

How exciting!! I find spinning so relaxing and addictive. When I was first learning to spin, someone gave me some great advice, to treadle slowly, and if I thought I was going too slow, then go a bit slower yet. I hope you have great fun with your new wheel!!!

clairesgarden said...

heres a couple of links. its a beautiful thing and cheaper to keep than a horse!!!
http://www.craftdesigns.co.uk/spinning1.html
http://www.kromski.com/mazureken.htm

ladylinoleum said...

It's gorgeous! And, it's just the beginning of your spinning adventure! Welcome to our ranks!

Wrensong Farm said...

What a beautiful old wheel! I don't know anything about spinning wheels, but even if it wasn't one that was comfortable for you to spin on, it is a piece of art to look at!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

How exciting for you! I wouldn't know the first thing about spinning on an old antique like that (where does your foot go?) but I'd love it as a display piece. It's lovely!

Have you done any research on it online yet?

I'm buying my lesson wheel, the Loutte I learned how to spin on. I'm so excited. I can't wait to go from start to finish on my own wool. (shear-wash-card-spin-knit)

Have fun and let us know more about it when you can

~Lisa

gr33nd0v3 said...

Where are you taking the classes? I live in Iowa and can't find a class even remotely close to me!

Claire said...

Hi Gr33nd0V3! I took the classes through the Des Moines Community Education program - it was at a school on Grand Ave. whose name escapes me right now. The woman who taught it is named Linda Bender and she is at the DSM farmers market sometimes, but not every week. If you do a Google on "Linda Bender Spinning" you will see her address in the listings for the Fiber festival in Adel this weekend. If you can, you should attend that! There are probably lots of opportunities to learn about spinning through that. I will be there all weekend. I am also in the Prairie Spinners Guild now and we meet in Adel so if you wanted you could come to meetings to learn to spin. It's a lot of fun! If you are a long way from the metro area, I might know others close to you that you could ask, if you want to try to find something closer to you.

tootall1121 said...

My Lady has one very much like that. From what she's told me, it's not necessarily German, but from that vicinity. The design is original to the Saxony area, but it spread out from there. She's not available right now, or I'd have her tell you more. I know they're valuable, and somewhat rare in this country. The size is so they travel well. They can be taken apart and put in a trunk.