great wheel Knitting Uncategorized York

Have A Go On A Great Wheel Weekend!

The lovely Emma spinning on my Great Wheel at Bolton Castle. Wheel custom built by Jack Greene. CREDIT: Nate Hunt

Tomorrow (5th August) and Saturday, we’ll be demonstrating the Great Wheel, at the British Wool Show, Murton, York.

If you fancy some ‘Have A Go’ great wheel spinning, come along and try your hand at it.  Very few spinners are left who can spin on the Great Wheel – we’re hoping to change that!  You can also book a half hour workshop session, on either day, for a small charge to cover materials, wool preparation, etc.

We have spent much of this week carding wool on the drum carder and will be bringing along some interesting British breeds of wool, including Whitefaced Woodland and some of our Badger-Faced Balwen for folk to try.  We will also have a bit of raw wool available for sale, from the sheep at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming, next door to the livestock centre – money raised contributes to paying for the sheep to be sheared.  (Below: One of the Museum’s Badger-faceds, from prize-winning stock and a close up to show you the quality of the fleece).

On Sunday, we’ll be at the National Trust’s Nunnington Hall’s Traditional Skills day, with either the Great Wheel or the Chair Wheel or both if we can fit them in the car!  Spinners and knitters please come along, and ask all your Great Wheel/spinning questions – and the braver amongst you; have a go on our wheel!


Nunnington Hall. By Wehha (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

One reply on “Have A Go On A Great Wheel Weekend!”

We have a great wheel in Haddington at the Poldrate Mill (Haddington Spinners & Weavers) and thus quite a few of us know how to spin on one. Still, when we take it out and about there seems to be a general resistance amongst spinners to trying it. Why is this, I wonder? It’s just an extended draw like you would use on a standard wheel, except with your left hand. And lots of spinners draw with the left hand. Is it the pointy end that scares folk, or the fear of knocking it over, or the fear you’ll like it so much that you’ll have to go out and buy one? (This last did happen to me, I own one third of the Haddington Wheel, lol.)


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