Spinning and History

A couple of weeks ago, I was given the privilege to be the spinning interpreter at the local 18th century plantation house on the Virginia Tech Campus.  As summer was passing, I sold my Kromski Sonata, the folding castle style wheel that I had used the first time I was there and though a contemporary wheel, it at least looked the part.  It was replaced with the Ashford Traditional on which I had learned, a Saxony wheel that also looked the part and was used the second time I was re-enacting.  It was a nice starter wheel, though the wheel itself wobbled a bit when it spun.  It has tiny little bobbins and therefore made small skeins of yarn.  With the proceeds from selling the Kromski, I bought a used Louët, a very contemporary castle style wheel.  The Ashford was first loaned to a teen wanting to learn to spin, then sold to her, leaving me with the contemporary wheel while sitting in the old home spinning earlier this month.  I had been looking on the internet for an old (period) still functional wheel for some time and in the past couple of days, I found two.  I emailed out to the first seller to be told that the wheel pictured was not the wheel for sale, but representative of wheels he had sold in the past and he was too busy with the Christmas rush to send me any photos or descriptions of what he currently had available until after Christmas.  He also could not tell me if he had a working wheel.  Scratch that seller off my list.

The second seller had a beautiful wheel that had come from a South Carolina estate and it had been in the same family throughout it’s history.  I emailed again and the response was that it spins straight, has all of it’s original parts, is not just a decoration and not a reproduction, plus the price was so incredibly low that it seemed too good to be true, plus, if I am dissatisfied, I can return it within two weeks for a full refund.

wheel

Since my show was successful over the weekend, we decided that I should go ahead and make the purchase.  This morning, I ordered that wheel and now I anxiously await it’s arrival.  It has only 1 bobbin and that bobbin looks small, so this wheel will only be for re-enactment, the rest of the time, gracing our home.  If I truly fall in love with it, perhaps I will have a couple more bobbins made, sell the Louët and make the antique my all the time wheel.  I’m really not a collector of wheels, not keeping more than one in the house at a time.

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