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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

To me...nothing represents both the hardships and the accomplishments of early settlers more than the Spinning Wheel. Spinning wheels have been around much longer than our early American adventurers but it was a staple in their household...or at least in the household of a neighbor...someone nearby.

I watched an artisan take raw, unprocessed wool freshly sheared from a sheep and literally turn the wool into workable thread or yarn. The yarn in turn was knitted into clothing of some type. The process of making thread or yarn is an incredibly slow process. No wonder in those days it was so common to pass articles of clothing down from generation to generation.

Thread was not only made from animal furs but also from weeds such as Flax. Once discovered as far back as 34000BC it was cultivated for several purposes...one being spun into threads. It is amazing what human ingenuity can create once a need arises and the best motivation is survival.

Dan

18 comments:

DawnTreader said...

Beautiful photo, and reminder that there was a time before supermarkets... ;)

Sunny said...

What a wonderful old spinning wheel.
My sister-in-law raises sheep, spins the wool and knits sweaters, hats, etc. It's a fascinating process and really makes you appreciate hand made things.
Enjoy your day.
Sunny :)

Dan Felstead said...

Dawn Treader...was there?

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Sunny...then you know how incredibly long it takes to begin with the sheep and move to the finished product!

Dan

shabby girl said...

I've often thought about spinning all of the dog fur that I've experienced in my life. I even came up with a label for the knitted articles of clothing, with two paw prints on them. Then I thought about how long a process that would be and said nevermind. But you're right, if I had to do it to survive, I would. Even without the label.

Cynthia L. H. said...

Although the spinning wheel is very beautiful and inspiring, I think that flax is more suitable for oatmeal (sprinkling the fresh ground seeds on the top---a great source of omega-3's and other good stuff)...but I would go for the Rumpelstiltskin idea of spinning straw into gold. For that, I would work really hard.
;^)

Simply Heather said...

I was always fascinated to watch a person use one of these when I was young. We had a sheep farm not too far from where we lived.

Dan Felstead said...

Shabbygirl...you could weave the items and sell them on your travels across the country in your new home on wheels!

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Cynthia...I didn't realize it but I guess Flax is quite a multi tasker!

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Heather...we stayed at a bed and breakfast one time that was a sheep farm and I didn't take any pictures...wish I would have...it was a beautiful farm.

Dan

M. Hassan said...

You keep on amazing me!

septembermom said...

Love that spinning wheel picture. A nice reminder of simpler (possibly more authentic) times. Our current world does feel too complicated very often.

Rebecca said...

My friend spins...on something newer than this. She dyes, spins, and knits. You can say their woolens are made from scratch. Love the photo.

Dan Felstead said...

Thank you M but I am no different than any of you...just looking for pictures!

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Septembermom...speaking of complicated...were you all able to navigate the traffic and make it into the city for the show?

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Rebecca...it sounds like she does it all...I would love to see her work.

Dan

M. Hassan said...

I just started doing photography this summer, but from your photos, you seem to have an eye for good photos. I don't have that and will take a long time before I do ;)

A Scattering said...

Lovely. An old school friend of mine is a spinner, knitter etc. She also sells spinning wheels and says she's had a real flurry of business this holiday season. I'll send her the link for this post, I know she'll enjoy it. Elaine