Handspun Projects  Sample Skeins Guest Towels - Handspun Linen Spinning Stool


Basic beginning,

around 1978

Osterroenfeld, Germany.







Around 1978 I received this wheel as a free gift from a German neighbor with the suggestion to plant geraniums in it ( we love to have lots of flowers around the house).
Deciding that the wheel looked too good for a planter, I ordered a drop spindle, hand cards, and a pound of wool - and started out.
Several wheels and spindles later, I have a lovely collection of equipment and fiber.
In 1980, after falling in love with making yarn, we were lucky enough to purchase a small home on the edge of a North German farming village with a small stall and rent enough additional land to keep a registered herd of East Frisian dairy sheep (yes, milk and cheese were great) until 1990 when we returned to Wisconsin. During these years and for the first years in Fond du Lac, most wool yarns were spun from the wool of our own sheep.




Ashford Traditional

Teak Oil finish with considerable "patina"



This first Ashford wheel coincides with the purchase of a house with enough room and the addition of our own herd of sheep.

Originally with the 2-speed standard flyer, it has been upgraded over the years to the click 3-speed flyer and the Jumbo flyer is mounted often for rug wool and plying.




Ashford Traditional Left-Handed Wheel Ashsford paste wax finish



When the left-handed traditional came on the market, I purchased one.

While I do like it and hold my fiber so that ti should be ideal, I had become so accustomed to using a standard horizonatl spinning wheel that the advantage is sort of lost on me.

It IS handy to be able to have the same wheel model available with both standard and jumbo flyer ready to use at any time.




Haldand "Harris" Norwegian Table Wheel

built between 1975 and 1980

acquired from friends in Germany

Exceptional wheel for spinning delicate yarn





Haldand Harris Norwegian Style wheel. Double drive, very fast, very light drag, makes lovely delicate yarns, yet doesn't overtwist.

I was working on an attempt for the HGA COE in spinning while living in Europe and borrowed this wheel for part of the requirements.

While at our home, the owner suddenly died and I made her husband an offer on the wheel. Becausea Inge was such a dear friend, this wheel has a permanent place in our home.

There were not many of these wheels built - there is no axle for the drive wheel, it runs on "set screws" which have pointed ends to support the wheel and have very little friction. It is possible to dislodge the wheel by bumping it, but replacing it is quite easy. The string footman also contributes to the easy action of this wheel.

I'm thinking that the Kromski Polonaise is constructed using the Harris as a prototype.



Canadian Production Wheel - Fr. Bordua, St. Hyacinthe

ID'd by Bill Ralph to be about 1895

found on eBay in California





A wheel collection is not complete without the Canadian Production wheel.

Found on eBay in good shape, the front maiden neede to be replacec due to dog damage. Other than that, it just spins, and spins, and spins.

The stamp on the table reads Fr. Bordua, St. Hyacinthe - and Bill Ralph dated it to about 1895.

This is a very fast and strong wheel that makes fine singles or plied sportweight yarn in no time. It does ply well.



Great Wheel

Origin Unknown

Purchased in Cedarburg, WI Antique Shop







Great Wheel

This is a typical great wheel with Minor's accelerating head and post tensioning device.

The style and construction are sturdy and in excellent condition. It is not exceptional in any way - the wood and appearance hint at mid-19th century origins, probably from somewhere in the midwest - Indiana, Ohio, possibly Wisconsin.

The wheel bearing is of bone - the conical type of bone found in soup meat. It was a bit worn, so we built a frame and sqared it with some epoxy filler.

The wheel holds tension and spins well with just a single band of waxed seine twine. While it is not used very often, I did spin enough mohair/Jacob blend for a cardigan sweater.


Note: The waterspots on the bed come from having the wheel under the asparagus fern for years. I'm not talented when watering house plants.




Bosworth Attache Charkha

Purchased with stand proceeds from Spin In that marked out business startup in Wisconsin


Bosworth attache case charkha - patterned after those from India with some high-tech stainless parts - spins cotton and short fibers extremely well. Carry bag handwoven from Foxfibre yarn with inkle handle.