Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mystery Spinning Wheel from Iowa

Sarasota was wonderful! Beaches, museums, fabulous seafood, old friends and new. And don’t forget the fiber activity. The members of the Manasota Weavers Guild were delightful; I would love to visit and spin with them again!

For the first three days of my Florida get-away, I stayed with Bob Lewis and his wife, Edie. They are guild members and long time weavers, with many looms set up in their lovely home. Bob also had two spinning wheels that had belonged to his father (also a weaver and spinner). These wheels had been in storage for a long time (one in the garage, the other in the attic). One wheel is a sweet upright that was built in Norway (labeled as such on the front of the bed of the wheel). The other wheel Bob said was built in the US. Bob grew up in Davenport, Iowa, and he suggested that the wheel is also an Iowa native. The wheel is at least 50 years old. An upright wheel, I would classify it as a “frame” wheel, but it could also be classified as a “chair” wheel. It’s got a double-drive mechanism, and the wood appears to me to be maple. The bobbins are good sized.

I put new drive bands on these wheels, and made sure that all moving parts were cleaned and oiled as necessary. Both wheels now work well and are surprisingly solid, smooth, and quiet.

Here’s a picture of the frame wheel. If anyone knows the maker or has some idea of its origin, let me know ( It’d be great to provide Bob with some of those details.

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