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Something You Should Know

I have a secret. It’s not a dirty little secret, like my love for the television show Wife Swap, but there is something I haven’t told you.

Remember back at SPA? When I bought the Reeves wheel? Well, another wheel followed me home that weekend. Now before you get all excited and start berating me and calling me a wheel slut, I can explain. It was an accident. See, it went sort of like this – I was bemoaning the fact that I didn’t have a spinning wheel I could use at reenactments. I was whining commenting that reenacting would be so much fun if I could be spinning. I was saying that no one else in my area spins at events and I knew the spectators would just love it. And, yes, I know that spinning was not largely practiced in homes in Massachusetts by 1860, but it’s still a great teaching tool and I can certainly explain the history of spinning to those that are interested. Hell, I’m a reenactor, this is what I do.

And there sat my dear friend, Mamacate. She was eavesdropping listening intently to my whines pleas and before I knew it she was whispering in my ear, “I have a wheel that would be perfect for you to use at reenactments. And it’s in my car. And it’s for sale.”

How could I resist? Especially when, on Sunday morning, without even discussing it further with me, she stuck the wheel (which was disassembled and packed in a huge box) in the back of Blogless Sharon’s car. I mean, really. With a dealer friend like that, who needs enemies. So, now do you see what I mean? It was an accident.

Turns out, though, it was a really happy accident. First of all, I had to learn to put the thing together. Thank goodness I had brought home the Reeves because I had it to use as a guide. The assembly actually wasn’t bad and I learned a lot by doing it – including how to put on a double drive band. Then I ordered some beeswax polish and took it apart again (this time with Dale’s help) and together we treated and polished the very dry wood and now she looks like this:

Meet Tallulah. She’s a Finnish spinning wheel and she is made of birch. Isn’t she lovely?

And, if you’re wondering why I’m teling you this now, after so much time has passed, it’s because Tallulah and I will be making beautiful music together this Saturday at our first living history of the season. We’re both very excited!

This Post Has 40 Comments

  1. Hey, if you are going to have ‘dealer’ you’ve got a fabulous one who gives you amazing goods. Mamacate is pretty sneaky… I like it! The wheel is gorgeous and I’m positive it will be a hit this weekend.

  2. Sure, blame it on Cate. You are the biggest wheel tramp I’ve ever met 😉 What does that bring the total to now?

    Have fun this weekend! I have to admit, I was thinking you needed a wheel you could take to reenactments. I was, truly.

  3. That’s a great wheel! And interesting to know they there wasn’t much spinning going on by the mid 1800’s. I did not know that, very interesting tidbit. MORE history, please.

  4. Ooh, sneaky!

    And, who cares if not a lot of people were home-spinning in the 1860s. That doesn’t mean that nobody was. (I mean, come on, look at the 21st century, hello! Look at all of us!)

  5. Tallulah is beautiful. Anything wood is beautiful in my books! I have stayed away from spinning – worried I just don’t need one more hobby! Have fun this weekend and Tallulah will love her time in the public eye!

  6. Gorgeous! And I can totally see how an ‘accident’ like that would happen. Things like that happen to me all the time!

  7. I love your Finnish wheel! How beautiful! I have 2 spinning wheels too so you’re in good company.

    Will you post some pics of your reenactment day? I’d love to see what you’re doing.

  8. I love her name! And it seems to me that the living history seems like the perfect front for great spinning time, *with no one thinking that you should be doing anything else*. Just all day, spinning so that people can watch.


  9. I learned to spin while at college in NH but haven’t for many years. Having attending the Nutmeg Spinners’ mtg recently and reading,I’m catching the fever.

  10. although I will start off by saying that it all makes perfect sense – I will still indeed call you a wheel whore. Yesterday at the book signing, Wendy told me the little ‘tip’ you gave her on how to draft the fiber for spinning – you are both dirty girls. tsk tsk

  11. So I go to an all-day meeting and what happens but everyone is calling me a wheel tramp in your comments! So what if it’s true? Sheesh!

    Tallulah looks very happy. How’d she like her field day?

    Thanks for giving her such a good home.

  12. To the tune”till there was you”
    There were wheels, up in Maine
    But I never saw them spinning,
    No I never saw them at all,
    Till you bought two!

  13. Hey Carole, please email me your snail mail so I can get you your Mason-Dixon contest prize(s). And we didn’t even know you were a reenactor when we made the selection (that could have biased us, you know). xox Kay

  14. This is so exciting! I can’t wait to see photos from the weekend; I have a friend who does the same at the state park where gold was first discovered in California, even though I suspect the few women here then were too busy surviving and cooking and washing for the miners to spin.

  15. The wheel is wonderful! Oh how I want another wheel but I think E would shoot me – the louet, the babes electric and now the Pat Green Carder…I’d be in so much trouble!

  16. Please tell me what college had the mascot HERON, we also have it for our high school…..Need ideas and pointers and areas to find mascots

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