Saturday, January 25, 2014

Unusual Wheel

I got a new wheel this afternoon.  You might think that this is just like any other wheel that I have, but you would be wrong!  This wheel is a double flyer wheel possibly from Germany, but definitely from the 19th century.

She has had some repair work done to her.  The right hand flyer is a more recent replica of the left hand flyer.   The treadle has had some work done to it and the top of the 3 piece distaff is a replacement as well.
 I have had my left hand in training for about a month.  It is really hard to get it to work as easily as my right hand.  As soon as the wheel got here this afternoon, I set her up.  She had been packed up really well, and labeled very well.  It took only about 10 minutes to put her all together, and before you know it I was treadling.  I treadled for about 10 minutes, to get the feel of her, and I oiled all the necessary places so that she was running smoothly, before I started trying to spin anything on her.
Surprisingly, I was having trouble with the right hand flyer at first, until I figured out that the tension was greater on that side.  Once I got that fixed, it went much better.
 I have successfully spun with both flyers going simultaneously, but I am  still much better one at a time.  It will just take a little bit of practice, and maybe a slightly different fiber presentation, this flax was a little too loose.
She will be going with me to the Museum of Appalachia when I demonstrate, and talk to the public.  They always love to see these wheels spin, and are intrigued with the process.  Now I have a wheel that looks the part.

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Tina

Friday, January 17, 2014

I'm Back!

I've been gone a long time.  Not just gone from blog land, but gone from my home, my Husband, and all the things that make me, well, me!  Last year I spent the better part of 3 months in Ghana helping my daughter.  She was adopting two wonderful little boys, and she needed someone there with her, to help her take care of the everyday kinds of things, while she bonded with them and waited for all the documentation to be finished and their visa's to be granted.

I had gone in early spring for a couple of weeks, and the plan was for me to spend a month with her starting in mid September.  As soon as I got there, however,  I saw that even though she could have done it on her own, it would be much better for someone to be there with her until the story was complete.  The trouble was, there was nobody lined up to take my place!  So, I did what any mother would do, I told her I wasn't leaving until she did.

I won't go in to all the details, but I was there for 10 weeks, which by the way is nothing compared to her 5.5 months!   We had a good place to stay, (although water was iffy a lot of the time) and access to our normal foods, so we were comfortable physically, but we were really uncertain how long it was going to take, in fact, by the time we had gone through all the months of uncertainty that you need to go through to do this, we could hardly believe it when they told us that the boy's visas were approved.  In fact we really did not believe that we were going to be able to get on that plane that we had booked, for  Thursday, the week before Thanksgiving.  It wasn't until Thursday morning at about 10:30, when she texted me that she had the visas in hand, that we actually knew that we were on our way home.

We couldn't believe it when we were on our way to the airport.  We couldn't believe it when we boarded the plane, and we couldn't believe it when we touched down in New Jersey, while gazing down at Americas newest citizens who, at that time, were taking a much needed nap.  We had several hours in Newark, where the boys had fun playing with another two year old, this time a little girl.  They played for the better part of 2 hours, and then all 3 crashed, ready for a nap, just before we were due to take the final leg of our journey home.

We were met by our husbands, and the other set of Grandparents, and we had a very few moments to gather our things, and say goodbye, as I was going one way, and they were going in a different direction.  They were going to drive the 2 hours home, my daughter was determined to not spend another night in a strange bed, and she wanted the boys to wake up in their new home right from the start.  Dear One and I, however were 6 hours away from home.  He had wisely gotten us a room, and after a quick dinner, I took the first long hot bath I had had in quite awhile, and we fell asleep together for the first time in 2.5 months.  We made our way home uneventfully the next day.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't say to myself, and to Dear One, "I am so glad to be home!"  There are also very few days that He hasn't said, "Have I told you how glad I am to have you home?"   I have been back for almost 2 months now, and quite frankly until early this week, all I have wanted to do was spin on my spinning wheels.  That is it!  I was physically and emotionally exhausted.  I didn't want to do many chore type things, or see people, or cook, or even take walks.  So, that is what I did, I sat and I spun a whole fleece into yarn.  That is a lot of yarn!

Early this week, though, I got up, and I spread up the bed.  (not too unusual really)  Then, when I finished in the bathroom, I wiped it down with a wet wipe that is stored in the closet.  Hmmmm,  I thought, that is interesting.  I made my way to the laundry room and without having to think about it, I threw in a load, just like I used to!  Then to the kitchen where with coffee in hand,  I  cleared off the small kitchen table, that had become a magnet for all sorts of things, and rearrange it to make a really nice place to sit and have some tea.  In short, I was beginning to feel like myself again.

I still haven't gotten upstairs to the looms yet, but that will come, all in good time.

Until next time, when I will hopefully have some new pictures of weaving,  Tina