Archives

Scandinavian Spinning Wheels!

Good morning!

DSC_7474

Over the past month or so, we’ve been very very fortunate to find two wheels from Scandinavia. Both Kijiji finds, both very reasonably priced, both with all their parts and both in spinning order! One was in a ready-to-spin-right-now-and-i-cant-wait-to-get-started state, the other more of a help-me-im-smothering-underneath-all-this-nasty-oil-paint state lol but you’ll get to see how I saved her…she was sort of masquerading as one of those captains beds from the 70’s – you know the ones! – and had not been used much in her life but is definitely made to work. I took her for a test spin before beginning the stripping, just to reassure myself.

Ok, so, the first spinning wheel we found….

Swedish spinning wheel with norwegian double table syle and finnish double uprights

She was found in Trenton, Ontario and has a little bit of history (as told by the guy we bought her from). She was apparently brought from Sweden, by her Swedish family, and has been in the same family for her lifetime, save the time she spent with the gentleman we bought her from. The interesting thing is that she is actually a Norwegian style double table wheel with distinctive Finnish double upright wheel posts. The beautiful curving end caps on these double posts are also distinctly Finnish.

swedish double table spinning wheel with finish uprights

Check out her bearings! This wheel is absolutely THE MOST SOLID wheel in my collection – old or new. She is put together completely with wooden pegs and everything is in perfect shape. She’s like a miracle wheel, considering her probable age…

pegs under uprights

moa/table of swedish/scandinavian wheel

An amazing thing…she has all her bobbins! And the wood is beautiful….
swedish wheel bobbins

After cleaning…
bobbins after feed and wax

the third bobbin, on the flyer…
swedish/scandinavian double table wheel

Her treadle has the comfy foot indent and she loves to spin…a cleaning, an oiling and away we went 🙂 Her wheel is large, partially hand carved and beautiful. It measures 26.5 inches, approximately.

God bless her original family, they took exceptional care of her.

Now, the second wheel…

spin1

We found this wheel on the local Kijiji, just about 30 minutes away. I couldn’t help but notice the double wheel posts with the curving cap which are secondary supports on this tiny spinning wheel and I was intrigued since I had just gotten the first a week or two before.

She was covered in thick brown oil type paint – very shiny. I could tell that it was not original paint because they had painted over her decorative end caps. She was doing a very good job of impersonating a reproduction wheel of some sort from the 70’s and I had more than one doubt when buying her.

My grandson, bless him, loves her. Grandma, for ME?!!! was his reaction 🙂

For me grandma?!!

First things first, when I got her home I took her for a spin and she did spin!

Some pictures of her parts…

Painted over the end caps

The painted over decorative caps
Definitely not the original paint

The flyer and mother of all
Lots of paiint!

Yes, she has bearings
DSC_7438

This was a job for solvent…and lots of gloves and paint scrubbie pads…

DSC_7444

DSC_7447

DSC_7453

Stripping the itsy bitsy

nice!

The wheel itself was a lot of work…

before - itsy bitsy wheel

DSC_7464

And then all the smaller pieces…

The pressure fit whorl
pressure fit whorl - finnish itty bitty wheel

The flyer
finnish flyer

The bobbin
finnish bobbin

The whole job took approximately 20 hours, lots of patience and plenty of elbow grease but now she is perfect!

Her flyer, with tool marks from the file it was ‘sanded’ with
DSC_7472

The arched post cap
DSC_7473

Tension
DSC_7470

Side view/alignment
DSC_7472

DSC_7468

From the back
DSC_7469

One thing missing – one decorative metal ‘cap’
DSC_7471

It’s a super cute antique spinning wheel that has seen very little use. There is no foot indentation in the treadle, the hooks may be replacements but they are in good shape and well bent so I didn’t replace them. She has an odd arrangement with the front maiden on an angle to accomodate the flyer and a 14″ wheel diameter.

After stripping the whole thing, I treated the wood with orange oil, no wax so far.

Have a fantastic day! 🙂

Swiss Lateral Treadle – A Very Sweet Wheel!

Good morning my friends!

Yes, we’ve added another wheel to the flock.  My husband has definitely earned his enabler’s certification, lol, as he very smartly and wisely guessed I might really REALLY love this little wheel as a birthday present/project.

Purchased off of our local Kijiji from an elderly gentleman who thought it was polish (though I’m not sure why and the gentleman did not have time to talk and did not share details on any known history of the wheel).

When we first got her

Very loose, very rickety but complete with all of her parts except the tension peg. A very experienced, well used (as evidenced by the oil stains and appropriate wear) lateral treadle swiss wheel! Not really very common where I live and I feel very blessed to have her 🙂

I took her apart as much as possible and cleaned her. Then a coat of blo and turpentine mixed about 50/50. She could drink that for days but I didn’t want to overdo so I’m waiting a few days now for another coat.

Be ever so careful if you are using this mixture – it will self combust and you MUST lay out rags or anything used outside to dry afterwards before safely disposing. Do not crumple up rags! Also, use in a well ventilated area.

after blo/turpentine

She was definitely in poor shape. Her flyer had been bent off center, possibly by too much tension over too many years or possibly by a fall or some other accident. Her orifice leather needed replacing, her frame needed shimming from underneath to take out the rattle and the lean. The mother of all arm which holds the orifice needed shimming from underneath to take out the other rattle, lol.

before the oil

with old leather

Check out this treadle pin!

Check out this treadle pin!

I actually love getting to know these old ladies. It’s like we have this long talk about their every ailment, and then I do my best to fix them one by one by one until the little old lady is ready tCo spin again. You know, the kind of work where you can spend nine hours or so before you even realize that the day has passed? A labour of love 🙂

She has captive rings, which I thought was pretty sweet. To me, it means that someone loved the lady who owned this wheel once-upon-a-time. In it’s day, a wheel was a necessary tool. Only people who love people specially decorate their tools, I was thinking…

more captive rings

hand carved spoked/captive ring

So, after the shimming, she can now be carried with one hand, nothing moves and she is, perhaps, the most sturdy wheel in the house!

swiss lateral treadle

She stood for having her flyer shaft bent back into straight. Her bobbin degunked nicely for me.

swiss flyer

It took a little work carving shoe leather thin enough for her orifice leather but she is now releathered. I did leave the top of the wooden orifice without having the leather come around and it works perfectly with the soft cord as a tensioner. I am planning to replace the cord with leather lacing for a brake.

The only thing left to do is to carve her a proper tension peg (I’m thinking captive rings are in order…) and to become much more skilled in the art of bobbin led spinning!! LOL. These are wheels that pull like crazy and want to put in light light twist. I left the original thread there from the lady-who-spun-so-long-ago. It’s good for the wheel karma. It appears she was a pro – it is very thin, very perfect flax.

My Newest Wheel – A Little Bit Of A Project

2011 swiss wheel 009

Isn’t she sweet?

2011 swiss wheel 010
(her wheel is on backwards in these pictures)

We purchased her from a local lady and she’s missing her treadle, flyer and bobbin. Altogether though, she is in great shape!

2011 swiss wheel 022

2011 swiss wheel 024

Check out her ‘redness’! I think she was originally a red wheel with a black stripe on the wheel itself, on the inner ‘ring’ of the wheel.

Her hub is solid with only a couple small cracks. Her wheel is slightly seperated but should come back together with a little coaxing, oiling and perhaps the dryness of winter will help if nothing else does. Certainly, my other wheels become quite loose during the winter season.

2011 swiss wheel 015

The leathers are perfect and the rear leather is amazing….a solid chunk of leather!

2011 swiss wheel 013

2011 swiss wheel 011

Hoping to spend some quality time with this lady in the upcoming week and build her a new treadle. I’ll need to find her a flyer or see if one of my other wheels has a flyer which would work as a loaner for now 🙂

Have a fantastic day!

Aram! I’m So Glad You’re Here :)

She love to spin

Isn’t she lovely? I think so!

Please welcome my newest wheel – another little piece of Canadian fibre art history. She is marked “Aram Paradis” and was made in Quebec in the latter half of the 1800’s. To make her even more special, we purchased her from her original family. A lovely woman sold her to us, after refusing to sell her to someone the seller suspected was an antique dealer, because we would love her enough!

Bless her. She was right though, you know – I really will love her enough 🙂

The wheel belonged to the seller’s great grandmother, who used to spin on her often – I was even given a small amount of cotton sliver which was, according to the seller, her great grandmother’s and what she would commonly spin on the wheel. This same seller has another wheel (her grandmother’s) which is a Canadian Production Wheel, in perfect pristine condition. If she ever decides to sell it, she’s going to call us. I’ll let you know 🙂

It seems she has been modified to work with a spindle – somewhat like a great wheel. What remained of this modification when we got her was the whorl but no spindle piece. There was a second hole drilled (perfectly, might I add) in her mother of all for the front maiden, to facilitate the modification. She looked like this;

Just a little bit dry

the modification

First off, she needed a coat of blo/turpentine – the poor baby was parched.

What a differenc oil makes

I moved the maiden back to the original hole and made her some new leathers (made from an old full grain leather belt, bonded together for the front maiden to create a sturdy bearing)…

Making new leathers

fall11 094

For the back leather, I used a single layer of the same belt leather but since it’s a bit on the stiff/thick side, soaked it in water for a couple hours and then clamped it to create a tight bearing…

Clamping the leather for the back maiden

My baby had no flyer/bobbin whatsoever so I had to look around the house for something suitable. Thankfully the other wheels LOVE to share. My first attempt was an old lithuanian flyer that I have. Quite sadly (since this is my only flyer without it’s own wheel), it was too short and had some issues with spinning properly – sort of a dud. Second attempt was to try one of the cpw flyers (a Vezina, in fact). This was too long…

At this point it was very ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ and, just like in the story, the third try fit just right 🙂 I ended up fitting ‘Grandpa’s’ flyer to her – a very close to perfect fit. In order for it to be a PERFECT fit would mean finding a flyer with about the same length of arms/bobbin BUT with a longer tail end for the back bearing. Since I didn’t have such a flyer, I added a rabbit skin ‘sleeve’ inside the back bearing, to hold the shorter tail end. Grandpa says he’s happy to have helped 🙂

Rabbit skin sleeve for back bearing

Did I mention her perfect hub?? Really awesome for her age…

No cracks in the hub

She’s stamped but this isn’t the clearest picture…

marked aram paradis

And in her glory – all glowing and spinning!!

Pretty!

We had a few issues as we began spinning together. I don’t blame her really since she’s not used to working after all these years 🙂 Her treadle kept trying to fall out of the leg nearest the spinner on the wheel end – there was an old injury to that leg and a groove there so I used a bit of belt leather and made a split washer which I placed on the other end of the treadle bar, at the leg closest to the mother of all. This keeps the treadle from moving over as far as it wants and falling out on the wheel side. Also looks very appropriate, which I like 🙂

The cross piece that the treadle sits on is so old and brittle with an old staple repair underneath. It did snap shortly into our spinning together BUT I didn’t want to replace it with a new piece of wood.

Cover your eyes now if you are particular about correct repairs! My solution was to fit the shattered old wood back together underneath and then bond the whole thing back together with some 5 minute epoxy. Yes, a woodworking sin. BUT! She looks original and that was what I wanted. If this doesn’t work in the long run I can always replace the cross bar. I wasn’t approaching the project in terms of resale value but from a working/original wheel perspective.

Finally…my little helper has been by 🙂 I’ve convinced him that the winder is ‘his’ wheel…

The little spinner and 'his' wheel

He has, however, gotten older and now he has noticed that ‘his’ wheel doesn’t seem to do it right. LOL. He brought his bobbins over to my wheel to see what was going on last time…

fall11 029

He really is the cutest little guy 🙂 Plays piano when he’s not spinning….babies are awesome 🙂

fall11 025

Have a fantastic day!

What’s New? Spring Cleaning….Fleece!

Good morning!

008

It’s been so long….

Spring is here and I’ve been busy 🙂 Seems spring always makes one want to DO more – and some of us have a different take on spring cleaning! I’ve had several fleeces sitting for a while — some since last summer! I don’t know if I posted about it last fall but I have some absolutely beautiful long staple alpaca…dusty dusty stuff with some burr issues as well. It’s got a staple of about 8 inches as it was a long time between shearings and it is SUPER soft – lovely lovely lovely. Irreplaceable really. Fortunately, lol, I started out with about 14 pounds and there is no end in sight yet.

Unwashed…
alpaca - prewashing

Combed out for debris, but not yet washed…
raw alpaca lock 8 - 9 inches

Final product – rovings are clean and pulled from my combs…
alpaca -- combed

There is also the ‘meat’ sheep wool which I was given last year – in black and white – waiting to get a good soak and a wash. The wool comes out nice but the dirt is incredible – sometimes free looks like an excellent price. There is a large bin full of that waiting for me on the porch.

Oh yes, and a basset hound too…
Tired Basset

Mr. Man

My baby grandson has had his first birthday – still the cutest baby in the world with the BEST smile 🙂

Happy Birthday Baby

His other grandma has sheep and lambs and has very generously given me three bags of wool (I jokingly asked for ‘three bags full’ lol) – the first is lamb (three fleeces I think), the second is yearling (two to three fleeces) and the third bag is adult (haven’t counted them but I believe it holds two fleeces).

Grandma wool - three bags full

The lamb, unwashed…
Lovely lamb

The yearling, unwashed (or possibly the adult)…MUCH dirtier than the lamb. I plan to soak this in a cold soak for a few days before washing it…
yearling?

These fleeces MUST be a mixed breed but are sooooo soft I’m pleasantly surprised! I’ve washed some of the lamb, so far, and it’s coming out lovely. Very short fibers but lovely AND it helped motivate me to learn how to spin short fibers. Happy to say that after two days of utter failure…. I CAN DO IT! 🙂

The lamb…clean…
washed lamb

Here’s some blended short fibers that I’ve successfully spun…YAY!…it’s camel, yak, silk and lambswool blended on carders and then spun for a two ply thick and thin yarn….(it truly is soft as butter)
short fiber mix - camel etc.

I’ve sold one of my spinning wheels – the Bordua that I bought last fall – to a really nice Ravelry member who will truly appreciate her. I’ve also begun selling some handspun wool yarn and some spinning fiber (the above mentioned alpaca) through my local kijiji. I definitely spin more than I knit and the wool is piling up!

Some recently spun yarns…
handspun yarn
(Left to right…lambswool, spun from the lock very finely for a four ply fingering weight yarn; alpaca, spun from combed fiber, two ply; grammalamb spun two ply; the soft as butter blended camel 2ply; a skein of laceweight, handdyed silk two ply approx 800 metres.)

Oh – Almost forgot! There IS news on the knitting front….

lamb, silk, alpaca mix for socks - three ply

I’ve spun 900 metres of silk/lambswool/alpaca (in approximate thirds, blended on carders and then spun fine for a three ply lace weight) to make a really beautiful pair of lace knitted stockings. So pretty, so impractical. Of course I had to have them 🙂 I’ve only just begun the knitting but it’s coming along well…

socks!

Lace Stockings - heel detail

As if that isn’t enough, I’ve also been working on some orifice hooks…
orifice hook - loves red

Flowers on a spiral

I am also working on the spinning wheel at the beginning of this post – she needed a few things and a bit of a facelift. I should have pictures to share very soon 🙂 I believe she is a german parlor wheel but who knows for sure…

And just because…I’ve decided it’s time to make a quilt. A really special quilt I’ve had a picture for for ages…known to me and those that know me as “THE ONE”. It begins something like this….

Tammys Quilt

The Acadian Wheel Spins!!

Hello 🙂

acadian wheel project 085

I am so happy! I’ve been working on finishing the restoration of the Acadian Wheel – I made her new leather flyer bearings, new axle bearings (also from leather, soaked in water and shaped into a ‘u’ shape and allowed to dry in place with the wheel in place as well), tied on a (temporary) string footman and figured out how her alignment works!

So, how she looked when she had her first (undrilled) bearing made, and all fitted…
acadian wheel project 031

I discussed making that bearing here, using shoe leather and an old belt…I ended up dying it with leather dye, after creating a hole for the orifice, using first a drill and then carving it a little bigger…

acadian wheel project 037

acadian wheel project 042

I used a bit of belt leather, dyed it with leather dye, for the back bearing – you can kind of see it (undyed) in this picture…

acadian wheel project 045

acadian wheel project 057

Since she was flyer and bobbin-less when she came to live with us, my Vezina Slider has graciously offered to share her flyer and bobbin. She very wisely realised that I can only spin on one wheel at a time. I’m going to keep my eyes open for a suitable replacement.

She has no tensioning system so I had to figure out a way around that. I’ve made the back maiden (which holds the flyer with a leather bearing) the mobile maiden so that the flyer can be removed by removing a peg and twisting the maiden. The leather bearing itself I made with longer ‘tails’ than usual to allow the bearing to slip forward, in order to allow me to tie on the drive band and then, by pulling it back towards the maiden, to adjust tension on that band. I then used a square nail (one of the many ‘bits’ from the wheel that are left over) to wedge between the two ‘tails’, from the back of the maiden, in order to hold the leather in place where I put it. I think, in theory, this will allow me to somewhat tension the wheel.

acadian wheel project 081

It turns out, with this flat rim wheel, that the angles are all important. The wheel was made with large pegs that fit into the wheel uprights, beneath the table. These, it turns out!, adjust the angle of the wheel, allowing you to line it up with the flyer properly. I have managed to make her work as a double drive wheel – which I believe she always was, judging by the double groove worn in the wheel rim.

One of the pegs was missing so I used the existing one as a pattern…and a bit of old lath, lol – we’re doing some renovating. I had to wittle the lath down because it was a little too thick at first…

acadian wheel project 049

You can see, in this picture, how the uprights are not in a straight line – they help the wheel align with the flyer…

acadian wheel project 056

The angle looks like this…

acadian wheel project 076

acadian wheel project 077