Thanks to the wonderful researchers that are in the "Antique Spinning Wheels" group on Ravelry, I recently came across an Irish Castle wheel in Colorado, on Craigslist. This wheel was very reasonably priced because it needs some TLC.
The interesting thing about these wheels is the position of the flyer in relationship to the wheel. Normally you would find the flyer to the left of the drive wheel on "Saxony" wheels or above the drive wheel on "Upright" wheels. On an "Irish Castle wheel" The flyer is actually below the drive wheel, the flyer for this wheel is in the box on the floor for safe keeping.
I didn't even know I wanted one (not on my bucket list of wheels) until I saw this poor thing in the Craigslist listing.
Like I said it needs some TLC. The drive wheel is loose and coming apart a little bit in a couple of places, the lower horizontal supports have broken and need to be drilled out and reattached. If I want an onboard distaff, I will have to have one made.
The flyer itself is in really good condition, but the bobbin and the whorl have seen better days. Amazingly enough, my daughter found 2 antique bobbins in a local thrift store last week, and I bought them thinking that they might fit one of the antique wheels that I have recently picked up, and while they are not exactly the same, they may work on this wheel or another new wheel that I will write about next.
I love how the treadle hugs the back leg, oh yes there is no footman to attach it to the drive wheel, I need to have one of those made as well.
It is going to be a couple of weeks before I can take this wheel to the Wheelwright for repairs, but I can't wait to see her back in working order.
I hope to be able to get an idea about this wheels age and origin. Irish castle wheels were originally made in Ireland from 1760 until the mid 1800's, but they were also made here in the states. Inquiring minds want to know!
These wheels will spin anything you want to spin, but they were traditionally used to spin flax into linen thread, and that is what I plan to do, for weaving on the floor loom.
I will post again soon about that other new wheel, (there is a third, but that will be a whole other post)
Until next time, happy Spinning, Tina