06 April 2012

The home for wayward wheels

A local spinner found a wheel for sale on Kijiji recently – it was a great price (the people were clearing out Grandma-the-hoarder’s house and wanted it gone ASAP), though it was missing a bobbin and in somewhat questionable condition.
Of course, she couldn’t resist and she bought it. It did, indeed, need a little help. Not a lot, but a little. I offered to do the work for her, and she was happy to take me up on that. It’s a “pay me what you think the job is worth when you see the finished project” kind of deal, and since I enjoy doing the tweaking and I think people who want to spin should be enabled as much as possible within their budgets, this works for both of us.
Here’s the before picture:

Dry, unfinished wood, no bobbin, and a really strange blue tape arrangement for the brake band. Hmm.
Here it is now:

Stained with Watco dark walnut all over, but since there are different woods involved (I think this was a kit wheel of some kind) it came out really varied. It’s quite pretty, actually.

There is a proper brake band (leather, not blue fabric tape), the footman is tied on with a leather shoelace, and there’s a drive band (blue cotton warp thread). The loose axle has been fixed firmly in place, and the whole thing has been stained and waxed, though it should probably get a bit more wax to bring out the shine.
It’ll go back home later in the week.
Getting that all finished up was a good day’s work for me, now I’m going back to knitting.


  1. Nice job on fixing up that wheel. Who on earth made it? Any idea? I've seen a lot of wheels in my time but never one remotely resembling it! Flyer at right angle, bobbin drive/flyer brake, narrow single treadle...very interesting.

  2. I think it was a kit of some kind, it strongly resembles the Czech lateral treadle wheels I have seen. The cool thing with lateral treadle is you can easily watch your bobbin fill. Helps you notice when it is time to move the yarn to the next hook!

    There is a famous painting of St Elizabeth of Hungary spinning on a wheel like this.


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