Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My very first spinning wheel from way back when!

When our Woolamina gave me a beautiful first ever fleece, I was determined to do something beautiful with it--she was a gift to me for my birthday and my first ever sheep. She was beautiful (we just had to let her go because of her arthritis at the age of 9) and such a sweet floppy eared Suffolk girl who was my constant companion--and the beginning of my sheep/fiber madness. I then met a friend who gave spinning lessons, she sold me this wonderful antique flax wheel her husband had imported from Russia. I still use it often to spin up very fine wool, right now I am spinning a merino wool/silk blend that a wonderful friend sent me for my birthday this year! The wheel is most likely pushing 100 years and still has all its original parts, except it is missing its distaff, which would have held the flax while someone spun from it. It is a double drive wheel and there is so much evidence of use--there are a few grooves in the wood of the flyer showing how many miles of yarn/thread have been spun through!

My little wheel travels to shows with me and recently I had to take it in for a 're-glue' by my Dad--who is the most talented carpenter/woodworker I ever have known! He took apart the wheel, re-glued a few spots, fixed a few places that needed reinforcement and wa-la, my little wheel is back working like a top! It is even more speical to me now that my Dad worked his magic on it--and I think of him even more when I am spinning away on this fun little wheel. He is a peach! (the pretty pink in the spinning wheel picture is the peony bush blooming at the end of our driveway--today's wind decided I didn't need details like that in my picture???)

I have a small collection of spinning wheels and use all of them, each is suited to a different type of yarn and has a character all its own that often translates right into the yarn itself...

We are working on fencing to break our largest pasture up a bit--there is no real shade in the far end of the 15 acre pasture which keeps the sheep from spending much time down there in the summer--the best time for grazing! We have visions of a few shade shelters under the giant three oak trees in the little valley half way down, and lots more room to move the groups of sheep from pasture to pasture to keep the grass nice and the sheep well fed! Our goats are enjoying their move into the smaller pasture that includes a natural jungle gym--a low growing Maple tree with spreading branches perfect for goats to climb- and give their owner heart attacks watching them jump out from way too close to the top! Eek! Pictures of the goats in the tree to follow soon! Starting to drop off to 'sheep' so more tomorrow!

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