Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spinning Wheel -- Part One

I love to spin all types of fiber!  
Wool, alpaca, camel, horsehair, silk, 
cat hair, dog hair....
well the list goes on and on....

I plan to share information about my 
5 spinning wheels.  Each are very dear to me....

The one today is the oldest one I own.

When I was 10 years old my father asked me 
if I would like to have this spinning wheel....
it had belonged his grandmother.  
I said yes!  
This wheel was brought over on a ship 
from Norway when my 
great grandma Lahren was 19 years old. 
 Great grandma had passed away and 
no one in our family had taken 
the time to learn this art.  
So I had a spinning wheel and 
didn't have a clue how to use it.  
It remained in the basement for years.  
When I was 16 my father said he had 
someone that would like to buy it.  
I, being me...., threw a fit!  
I said he could NOT sell it as he had given it to me!  
And being a man of his word, he didn't sell it.  
At the age of 18 I left home and started working....
yes, I took the spinning wheel, that I had 
no idea how to use, with me....
over the years -- college, apartments and 
when I got married it went with me....
displaying this beautiful wheel that 
I STILL did not know how to use.  
At the age of 25 I was at church and over heard the
 minister's wife say she was going to spin some yarn.  
I about dropped over!  
I was so excited I asked her if 
she could teach me....she said of course!  
It was awesome!  
She taught me how to spin on my 
great grandmothers wheel....the rest is history.....
I spun off and on over the years but with 
raising two children and the busy life
 I had I didn't spin as much as I would have liked.  
Sometimes it would just sit in the living room 
for years untouched.  
As I got older I had more time and I am so happy 
that my father gave this to me and that 
God blessed me with meeting the minister's wife 
that taught me to use it....
spinning for me is SO soothing.....
you can get lost in the rhythm of the wheel,
time goes by quickly and the yarn you make
is one of a kind....
My great grandmother Lahrens 
spinning wheel....

Here is a picture of my great grandmother 
with my sister, Beulah, on her lap....
My sister who is 75 years old was
two years old in this picture.

I have tried to figure out how old it is....
from my calculations I think it is close
to 140 years old....maybe older as I don't know
if it was new when my great grandmother got it.

Oh, how I wish it could talk....
think of the stories it could tell....

Happy Spinning, my friends!


Art is the only way to run away
without leaving home.
Twyla Tharp


verobirdie said...

Wow, that must be fun.
I'm amazed to see there are spinning magazines in USA.
I don't think I ever saw someone spinning here...

The Furries of Whisppy said...

I would love to be able to spin the cat and dog fur into yarn and have it knitted into something. :)

Madi and Mom said...

Beth....this is the most wonderful post!! Oh my gosh I love the history and the love with which this was written. If spinning wheels could talk, this one could 'spin a good yarn'!! I wonder if that expression came from the ladies spinning and talking at the same time? Laherns is such a beautiful name. Does it have a meaning?

You and I were on the same wave length today...as you know I posted about the yarn you spun for us.

Lots of hugs from and admirer of your wealth of talents,

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

What a beautiful and working heirloom you have there! That is a gorgeous wheel. Can't wait to hear more about all of your spinning wheels and yarn spun. The pups here would gladly provide you with tons of fur:)

Bassetmomma said...

What a great family story! How terrific that you found someone to teach you how to spin and that you actually use your great grandmothers spinning wheel. It's also great that you have the picture to go along with it. What a great piece of family history! Your talents still amaze me. :)

Sandra said...

wonderful story, the wheel is so beautiful and a piece of history and it still works is amazing. it might even have made wood during the civil war.

Priscilla said...

What a beautiful family story and the wheel is gorgeous! I can't help thinking of those fairy tales when I saw the beautiful wheel.

Thanks for sharing it with us, Beth. If you need extra sable and white hair, Eva has plenty of it.

Stewey said...

Wow - what an interesting story and spinning wheel! Can't wait to see what you make!

Brandi Yee said...

What beautiful piece to have of your grandmothers! So glad to hear you kept it with you no matter what throughout the years and finally found someone to help teach you how to use it! That's so neat :)


Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

What a wonderful piece of family history. It must have been fantastic after all those years to finally learn how to use it.
Lynne x

KZK said...

That is so special! I just know your great-grandmother is smiling down on you, so happy that you are using and treasuring her spinning wheel!

JackDaddy said...

That's so cool that you have the picture and the history behind your spinning wheel. And that was a great story. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Ginny said...

Beth, this is a wonderful story!! How awful it would have been if your dad had sold it. This is something that should always be kept in the family as a treasured heirloom! Why do you have five? Do you collect them, or are there different kinds and types of wheels? This interests me as I know nothing about it. We like to watch "Once Upon A time" and it sometimes features Rumplestiltskins wheel, with him spinning, it always intrigues me. I can't wait to read more!

Mitch said...

Your spinning wheel is just beautiful and it's so nice that you use it and it doesn't just sit around collecting dust. I've always wanted to learn how to spin but haven't yet.

harrispen said...

What a great post! I love seeing the picture of your great grandmother with the wheel. How amazing that it came with her so long ago and you are still able to use it. I can't wait to read about your other wheels and see some more yarn and what you knit or crochet with it.


Ms. ~K said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful memory and what a treasure you have!
I remember Cecilia knitting a scarf w/ Madi's fur that you had spun...
Very special!

ps...did I send you a video (long time ago) about a group of ladies who spin pet fur and then make miniature animals w/ the fur? I think you could make a boatload of money doing that...I know I would order a mini Zack, Sassy, and Buddy! :)

Siku Marie, White Dog said...

What an incredible treasure you have! Steve's mom was a fiber artist who often used handspun dog's or human hair in her work.

Don and Diana said...

Oh Beth, that is such a cool thing to have from your great grandma. Its nice that you have learned how to do it and that you enjoy it also.


bichonpawz said...

What a great story Beth!! Very cool spinning wheel!! I try to incorporate a little bit of art into my life every single day! How fortunate that you ran into the minister's wife who taught you how to spin!! Would you like me to start saving hair for you??

Henry's human said...

That is a wonderful story. How lovely to have an object with such a family history.

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

So, can I send you some Siberian FLOOF?

Back in The Dark Ages (9th grade Industrial Arts), I made an inkle loom - sadly, I'm not sure it is around anymore

There is a place 'close' to here that would be just the place for you


Thanks for sharing your great family memory!

Khyra's Mom

Kathy said...

Beth, that spinning wheel is a work of art! What fun it must be to create yarn with it!
I have only hand spun with a weight Golden Retriever and Sheltie fur.
A very good friend had taught me, she also used a spinning wheel. I loved to watch her do her magic!
Happy spinning!

JC said...

I thing is great. So, what do you do with your thread ? Sweaters perhaps.

I have my Grandmother's rocking chair. It is all wood. No nails just pegs. It came with her on the wagons that took her to Kansas.

I don't know the whole story but it's very old now. I have it at our beach place where I rock and think.