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Scandinavian Spinning Wheels!

Good morning!

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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…

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

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Stripping the itsy bitsy

nice!

The wheel itself was a lot of work…

before - itsy bitsy wheel

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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
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The arched post cap
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Tension
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Side view/alignment
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From the back
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One thing missing – one decorative metal ‘cap’
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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.

Sidetracked, Again (or is that always?)

Ok, I admit it, I just might have a BIT of an issue with sticking to one thing, lol. It’s like some kind of ‘ooooooh shiny, soooooo pretty’ disease. I have so many projects on the go that it’s truly ridiculous.

There is the sweater I am knitting out of handspun light fingering weight yarns, in stripes. The white is cormo/merino hand combed and blended with very fine alpaca, two ply. The coloured yarn is a hand carded silk/wool blend, 2 ply.

the yarn

close up

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The yarn I really did finish (yay, one for me, save the part where there are half a bobbin of singles waiting to be plied into yarn, should I get around to finishing the other ply), created from hand processed, hand combed cormo/fdt fleece from mmfwool….

'dilbert' cormo/fdt 2 ply lace weight

'dilbert' wool cormo/fdt 2 ply lace

So far I have two skeins of this, around 700 metres, I’d guess. And I would be guessing, lol, since I have yet to count the strands :)

The ‘ooh shiny’ which I just started yesterday. Days off work are fantastic!

silk,wool,camel

Hand dyed silk, cormo/merino fleece and super-soft-camel fluff…it is divine….

blending for 'moss'

And, certainly not last, simply last for today – some super soft gloves I’m working on, created with handspun angora bunny/hand dyed silk blended yarn.

glove project

the pink bunny wool (angora/silk)

Thankfully winter is a few months away!

My Newest Wheel – A Little Bit Of A Project

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Isn’t she sweet?

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(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!

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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.

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

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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

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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…

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

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Have a fantastic day!

You’ve Got To Love A Friday!

Yes, I know it’s not really friday.  For me, though, it is – so yay!  Not that I don’t enjoy my job because I actually do, it’s just a matter of balance.  My crafts are exactly what balance me :)

And now I get to spin :)  For two whole glorious days :)

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This is some of the very lovely cotton which I bought from an excellent seller I found on Ravelry, from Kentucky.  I bought two pounds to give it a try – it was raw…I love learning new things from the ground up!

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It came like the bit on the left – on the right is some of the cotton pulled off of the seed.

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I held the seed and pulled off the fluff…

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In the end I had a cloud of very clean fluff with just a bit of vm left.

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Just because I’m me (lol, of course!), I had to try spinning it both ways.  I carded some and rolled it off the card from side to side…

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I think both methods work well and don’t have a real preference yet :)  I ended up all distracted and started spinning and knitting for a lovely thin knit alpaca cardigan – 2 ply just-a-little-more-than-lace-weight.

hanspun 2ply alpaca cardigan

I have more yarn to ply…I’m finding the weaving bobbin rack and winder sooooo useful!  Best thing ever.

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It’s an absolute star for storing the singles and plying from too!

Oh! And I must show you the baby boy!  He’s growing like a weed and getting cuter every day!

So cute!!

The spinning wheel is calling…Have a fantastic couple of days folks – I know I will :)

What A Beautiful Day!

Absolutely LOVING the gardens this year…(and they are loving me right back)
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Our veggies are planted and yesterday we added a strawberry garden too…
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I’ll have to get a picture of it since it’s tucked away in the corner there, by the grape vines :)

The fruit trees are starting to blossom! We have pear and apple, I believe :) New houses are always fun when no-one leaves you a garden map. I feel like an explorer, finding new things every day in the garden.
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I’ve decided to take a chance that the frosts are done for the year and get everything in now – I may be sorry but I’m doubting that. LOL – my way is to plant it and give it to nature – I help nature out by using my fleece soak water as liquid fertilizer and by weeding a little :) If it works out it’s fabulous – if not we’ll plant a few more things in a couple weeks :) I have some pepper plants and some cherry tomatoes that I’ve started in the house which are yet to be placed in the garden. Other than that we’ve got parsnips, carrots, lettuce (leaf and romaine), brocolli, corn, turnip, tomaotes, parsley, pumpkins, watermelons, cucumbers, radishes, peas. I’m thinking of adding a blueberry garden in the centre circle which currently houses some rose bushes. Roses are nice but blueberries are better :) I can always move the roses to a spot along the fence! I’ve also found some rosemarey (my favorite herb) and something that I’m SURE is an herb and smells like lemon – I assume herb because it’s in the garden itself and the prior owners of this house were dedicated gardeners!

After a week of rain, I’m so happy that the sun is out :) I managed to wash most of the mystery fleece that I was working on in the last post…it came out nice and clean!
drying the wool

There were parts of the fleece I gave up on and left too long in the soak water – they will now be going to live in the back of the yard, near the pine trees, as mulch. Since the fleeces were free and unskirted I feel just fine about that – the hardest part will be lugging it back there :) I still have about half of the total three bags to process and will take a bit more time to skirt these!

I’ve been spinning some icelandic that I washed last year. I thought it was felted but was pleasantly surprised to find it cards up just beautifully and wasn’t really felted at all!
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icelandic singles - not felted after all :)

Today I really should get back to knitting the socks BUT I have a feeling I just may end up spinning on the deck… :)
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Have a fabulous day!