Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesdays With Rita: Spinning Wheel

Today's prompt is two-fold.
I have always been interested in learning how things were done in the past. I learned to tat, knit and crochet from my grandma. I learned to sew from my mom,
along with lots of old-fashioned cooking secrets.
My sister was far better at all these things...and far more patient. I inherited a few projects from her. One was this spinning wheel. It isn't really an heirloom except that it was hers. I never got to see her use it. My brother-in-law sent it home with me...except there are no directions and I have a feeling some parts are missing.

Then a member of the Yahoo Sketchbook Group, Anna, offered some wool. Five bags full arrived over the weekend.
Doesn't it all look soooo cool? I love it.
I've tried finding this spinning wheel and the makers and the place she got it on the Internet and although I find brief mentions I'm not finding these specifically. The metal tag on the front says:
"Walter Kircher, 3550 Marburg/L., West Germany"

The paper tag above that says:
"Greentree Ranch Wools, Countryside Handweavers, 163 N. Carter Lake Road, Loveland, Colorado 80537, 303-667-6183"

My sister lived outside Brighton, Colorado and I remember how excited she was when she called to tell me about her spinning wheel. She had Nubian goats and also some sheep and also tried spinning dog hair. I don't know if she succeeded in that.
I want to try this wool but don't have a clue where to start. I want to feel and hear what it was like for my ancestors who spun. It must be a very relaxing job. I've found some videos to watch but first I need to learn more about my particular wheel. Can anybody help? Does somebody have instructions for this spinning wheel they could copy for me or tell me where to order them?

In the meantime, I'm thinking about the other traditions that were passed from generation to generation and are now being lost by so many families. I have lots of Grandma and Great grandma's doilies, quilts, and some dishes. I've forgotten how to tat, not that I was very good at it. Grandma couldn't slow her hands down enough for most of us to really pick it up. My great niece has her old shuttle.

Have you carried on any traditions? Are there still people around you could learn from? Are there some you could teach yourself like my sister did, and I now hope to do, with the spinning?

These things are so important. We all should work to keep them alive.

BTW, Anna also sent me some goat soap. It is lovely. You can find her here.