An Estonian girl who has found a home in Sweden.

Wednesday, March 11

A Beauty

March 11, 2009 Posted by Vaire

After playing with my friend's spinning wheel, I wanted to have one even more than usual. I do have one, in fact. My grandmother's wheel, but it's in Estonia and not something that I can shove into a suitcase and bring over on a plane.

So I went to look for a store in Sweden that sells Kromski wheels and found that there isn't one. I'd have to order from a store in Germany and that adds shipping costs on top of the 3500 krona price tag. Then I looked at Ashford wheels, but although Traditional is a lovely wheel and I like the style, I can't afford the 4000 krona price plus shipping now.

Then, out of curiosity, I checked Blocket for antique spinning wheels. I didn't expect to find any, but there were a few. Some were missing vital bits, some were painted and some looked like they'd still work, none of them cost more than 500 krona. Then there was one, a beautiful one, with two distaffs and extra bobbins. That beauty is now mine for 300 krona.

The wheel had been listed in January and I didn't really expect it to be available when I called. It was and the owner confirmed that it should work. It looked like all bits were present from the picture, so I arranged to pick up the wheel. Luckily my friend J can drive, has a car and was available to pick it up on Monday after work.

My new spinning wheel

Isn't it beautiful? I used the seller's pic because my camera is dead (I'm saving money to buy a new one).

What the picture doesn't show is that there was no bobbin in the flyer, but there were three that came with the wheel. Unfortunately two of them are broken, but one was not. I sanded the rust off the shaft of the flyer to make the bobbin spin on it freely and I need to add the missing feet to the legs to lengthen them so that the treadle doesn't hit the floor. Oh, and of course it didn't come with a drive band, but there's no lack of string in my household.

One of the reasons I chose this one was that it had two distaffs. I need to figure out how to dress the distaff with spokes, I've never seen one like that before. The other one can be dressed with wool in medieval style. A distaff is a vital part of medieval spinning and I needed one to practice. I could have just bought a stick for a distaff, but I've been wanting a wheel for years and now I have both!