Category: Blog

That’s a Mighty Red Wheel

Earlier this week I responded to a post on Ravelry about an antique spinning wheel in need of assistance.

The style was of interest to me, and I was excited that it appeared to be pretty complete- even finials intact. It was hard to discern from the photo what exactly might be keeping it from being functional. So I went and picked it up on Friday.

Upon seeing it in person, the picture became much clearer.

The primary issue is paint. Lots of paint. In places that there shouldn’t be paint.

I felt an immediate need to start getting her freed up, and was able the first night to separate the bobbin and whorl and remove the decorative caps on the wheel uprights. So that seemed promising.

Check out these end caps. so pretty, though one has sustained some damage-

and now the bobbin and whorl are moveable, which is good.

Now the issue is getting the maidens freed up from the mother of all, so I can remove the flyer assembly.

Lots of paint at those joints, so I’ve been using denatured alcohol to un-goop them. They seem pretty clear at this point, but the maidens are still very solidly stuck in place. I’m starting to think that they may be glued.

I figured it would be easier to work on them if I removed the whole assembly from the table. I was pleased to discover that the tension screw was in good shape and operated smoothly (no paint in there).

At the very least I need to get the rear maiden out, because it is currently rotated 90 degrees and the flyer axle is inserted through it. Though I think I’ll probably need to remove the front one as well, to be able to safely remove the flyer. Got a suggestion today from a woodworker to try steam and see if that helps loosen them up at all. If that doesn’t work, I might try some oil of wintergreen.

If nothing is successful in easing them out, we might have to do something more invasive. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that.

A couple of other neat things I noticed about this wheel- the threaded rods that run from the elevated table to the wheel uprights are free-moving

And it has threaded ends on all the uprights, with caps underneath which are free-moving as well

Cool, eh? I thought so!

Lovely wheel under all that red and blue craziness. It’s clear that she was a working wheel for some time before she was “decor-ized” (wear on the treadle and flyer), and I have great hopes for her spinning in the future!

Rainy Day Wrapups

Today’s a real washout, weather-wise. But it gave me a chance to get closure on a few recently almost-finished objects.

Mittens from May

Turns out that one skein of Schoppel Edition 3 came up just short, so I had to get creative with finishing the thumbs. 🙂

Also a cowl and the leftovers hat in my old standby pattern


I wasn’t sure about the leftovers hat while it was in progress, but now I’m quite a taken with it. Might try to do some more random color pairings. It’s kind of a fun way to work.

And reclaimed some yarn from a long abandoned item to knit up a hat that I’ll felt down Softs blues and pinks held together with natural gray and white. Should be thick and cushy after a spin through the washer and dryer.
and with other cap for pre-felt size comparison

So now I’ve got a clean slate, knitting wise.

Here’s hoping it keeps raining tomorrow and we get a bit of reprieve from fireworks craziness.

The Arrival of Summer

has sent us all running for shade!

It’s supposed to cool off a bit in the coming days so, we haven’t put the shade cloth over the hoophouse yet, but have a fan going in there to keep it tolerable for my veggie friends.

Beans seem to have gotten settled in their pots and are starting to reach upwards

“Third try” carrots are germinated and on their way

I’m really excited to see the eggplants coming along- just took off their milk jug protectors, and though they are nice and stocky, I’m thinking they might need staking before long (about 15″ tall now)

Tomatoes are coming along as well- but check out this tomatillo plant-

I’ve never grown them before, so didn’t know what to expect. He’s fast becoming a tree!

And this morning, while the area was still shaded, I hauled out some compost to top dress the the potatoes and squash

There is something so satisfying about harvesting and feeding homecooked compost back to the garden

Many thanks to the chickens and sheep that provide a continuous supply of ingredients.

And speaking of sheep, wanted to give a shoutout to Daphne, whose fleece this year is turning out to be a lot of fun to work with. Spinning it up on Moto (notes to self- singles at 3.2, chain plied at 2.8) into a soft and squishy chunky three-ply

I can’t seem to focus on planning a new knitting project, I’m back to my old standby hat pattern- this time in a vivid array of scrap yarns. Trying to just let it flow.

Two-handed colorwork has a way of easing my mind.