Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Rabbit Hole

Still lagging on days here but with lots to share this time.

Tour de Fleece

The spinning has begun and I've been spinning almost everyday.  On Saturday, I cranked through four ounces of wool.  I spun at Knit and Caboodle with one girl from the spinning group, the shop owner and her employee.  We had a great day.  I helped troubleshoot wheel problems, we enabled a potential wheel owner and educated a few brave souls that asked what we were doing.

Spinning has been broken up with processing the fiber from my Winona fleece.  I'm flicking the locks to open them up for carding.  The Beast is helping me card up the fiber, and it even got to chew a bit on my finger.

Here is one of  my singles from the tour so far.  Tomorrow looks to be plying day.

Just after I finish flicking all of this....
 and finishing carding this....

Spinning News

Finished my beautiful Dyeabolical fiber - Green Means Go.  I'm thinking about making this a prize for an upcoming contest.  I still need to reskein and count up yardage, but I'm quite pleased with skein.  I didn't set up my dummy light box to help capture the colors.  The red is a red/orange and it is quite stunning.  The green muted a bit as the red bled a little during washing.

The Rabbit Hole

So we had a bit of excitement around here the other day.  Tuesday, I went out to bop around a local antique mall and visit another antique store that has a yarn shop inside.  Uneventful and a cooler way to get in a walk.  It is hard to do anything outside this time of year.  The Missouri heat and humidity just beat you down and take your lunch money.  So I went off to enjoy some looky-looing and air conditioning.

The first place had interesting things, but and I enjoyed wandering and wondering what things were.  Then I headed to the yarn/antique shop.  The yarn shop wasn't active and I quickly saw all there was to see.  Then I left that area and walked into to a room filled with antiques.  I stopped dead in my tracks.  There standing on a table was an antique spinning wheel (hear that noise?  That was the sound of me falling down the rabbit hole).  It wasn't just any wheel either.

With the trademark cast iron treadle and huge drive wheel it could only be one wheel.
 A Canadian Production Wheel (CPW).

CPWs were made by a few families in Quebec between the years 1870-1930.  They are fast wheels with large drive wheels (this one is 30 inches in diameter).  Factories had rows of them for cranking out yarn and thread.  Then this process became mechanized and the old ways were slowly let go.  

I stood in the door way stunned.  Not a week had gone buy that I said aloud to some spinners that one day I'd like to get CPW.  A woman in my spinning group has a few and they are just stunning.  I had joined the Ravelry group dedicated to them just last month and spent hours reading about their history.  The CPW Raverly group is dedicated and full of knowledge.  Members rescue wheels, arrange transport, enable each other and help source repairs and replacement parts.  They get word someone wants a wheel the group springs into action to help make it happen.  Wheels for sale are posted and from what I could tell much of the available wheels were still in Canada or in the north east.  Some day I knew I wanted to jump the group into action for me.

I texted Mister what I had found.  To price was good...very good.  But was I ready for a new wheel, an old one, with our current student lifestyle...perhaps moving?  I spoke to the owner and she quoted me a new lower price and gave it to me in writing.  I told her I needed to think and to contact the group for advice.  I didn't get that far.  I came home and Mister basically wanted to know why I didn't come home with the wheel.  He knew how much I had been wanting one and my growing interest in antique spinning wheels.

So, dear Reader....We got the wheel.

She is beautiful and in pretty good shape.  Near as we know the wheel spent many many many years living in southern Missouri with a woman that collected.  The woman got older and sold her estate off to the antique shop owner.  The shop owner was thrilled that the wheel is going to to a spinner.  She will be well treated and used.  There is something painfully tragic when things aren't used.  Seeing wheels are musical instruments abandoned for dust collecting just makes my heart hurt.  The rabbit hole of antique wheels has opened and I've fallen in.

The wheel does have evidence of once being used to spin, but she hasn't been used in a long time.  She is missing a footman (the wire that connects the wheel crank to the treadle) and a few other parts are damaged   She's dirty and needs some finish work.  All doable.

To the right is an ad from the 1920s.  The CPW group believe my wheel is a a Borduas wheel.

I have named my wheel, Julia, from The Beatles's song of the same name.  Look for more photos of Julia in the coming months.  I'm researching how to best clean her up and looking to have some parts made for her.  I did some temporary repairs to see if she spins true and she does.  It is a sight to behold to see the once quiet wheel spin again.  Perhaps a video is in order soon.

Until then, a family portrait.
Julia, the CPW, and Diana, the Schacht Ladybug.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, love the new wheel! And everytime the Beast moved and it made that creaking noise... I felt like it was getting ready to bite you, LOL! I guess it really was then as it already tasted blood. ;)