Thursday, October 11, 2007
As I mentioned in a previous column, my daughter bought a spinning wheel on a recent trip to Missouri, visiting my sister Jackie.
A friend who lives in Monroe, La., told Dana about this place called “Farmhouse 1807” that not only sold antique birdhouses, etc., but sold wool roving. The farmhouse, built in 1807, is just outside Caledonia, Mo., which is almost impossible to find and get to, but well worth the effort.
Virginia and her husband, owners of Farmhouse 1807, raise the sheep and have the wool sheared (Virginia draws the line at shearing the sheep). She then cleans the wool and does whatever you have to do to raw wool, including hand-dying it, to get it to the roving stage.
From roving, you can felt the wool or spin it into yarn. Virginia does some of each, but mostly she likes to spin the roving into wonderful, beautiful yarn and then she knits the yarn into wonderful, beautiful “things.”
But back to Dana and her spinning wheel.
The wheel she bought is from about the 1960s or ’70s and is in very good condition. It has an extra little gadget, a “distaff,” that you use with flax (don’t ask me, I’m not a spinner, I’m a quilter).
There was a loose end on the bobbin of the spinning wheel and the string that runs the wheel was loose. Virginia told Dana how to fix all that (and she gave her a great price — about half of what spinning wheels go for on eBay).
We squeezed the wheel into Jackie’s car fairly easily. Jackie has a nice, big “road” car with a huge trunk.
Back at Jackie’s house, it was barely an hour before Dana had the wheel re-assembled and “spinning.”
But it squeaked. And it had hitches in the spinning.
After research on the Internet and a visit with her knitting guru and shop owner Bridget in Memphis, Dana has pretty much got it down.
Her wheel needed two strings instead of one, and a bit of Neet’s Foot oil on a couple of places. Tightening the loose bobbin piece was pretty easy and it wasn’t long at all until Dana had a bobbin full of beautiful yarn.
I can’t wait to see what the finished product will look like. I’m expecting gorgeous.
• My youngest granddaughter Remy is spinning also, but not with yarn. Her much-loved and very rambunctious poodle Jack made a flying leap out of the back of the pickup truck on a trip to the river bed Monday afternoon.
As of the latest update from the vet, he has a possible fractured pelvis, a concussion and who knows what all else. However, he is sitting up at the vet’s office and at this writing looks like he’s going to make it.
As for Remy, I’m not so sure. That dog is her “baby,” and she feels so responsible.
How do you explain accidents and tragedy to a 9-year-old?
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