Hand spinning Ruskin/Langdale Linen

“Sleeping Quietly Beneath the White Stars”

I wanted to search beyond the men who get all the credit and find the women who became spinners and teachers of spinning, weavers and embroiderers; reviving and refining craft skills from 1883 onwards.   So whilst my talk won’t focus for too long on Fleming (a London solicitor, who lived at Neaum Crag, Langdale), I thought I’d share his words from an 1888 piece for an American magazine, here where they can find an appreciative audience.

antique textiles dales knitting Hand spinning Uncategorized

Walking Wheel – How Many Miles A Month?

So how many miles could a Great Wheel spinner walk in a month? 120 miles? To reprise; in “Spinning Wheels, Spinners and Spinning”, Patricia Baines wrote: …It is said that spinners who worked in the textile industry in Yorkshire and Lancashire walked the equivalent of 30 miles a week spinning wool…   [Baines,  Batsford 1977 Edition, […]

Hand spinning Textile Arts

The Bewitched Spinning Wheel

  Proof that sometimes, carrying a bit of ballast is a Good Thing. And also a timely reminder to oil and maintain your spinning wheel! From ‘The London Evening Post’, February 24th – 27th, 1759, comes this cautionary tale: We hear from Wingrove, near Aylesbury, in Bucks., that a few days ago, one Susanna Hannokes, […]

Hand spinning handspinning Textile Arts

Badger-Faced Shenanigans

The sun came out, so yesterday I washed about 1lb of fleece for the ‘Spinning For Beginners’ Workshop, here at the Farming Museum this weekend! In the morning, we have our first ‘Like Fair Isle… But Yorkshire!’ workshop, which is going to look at Yorkshire two colour knitting. In the afternoon, Beginner spindlers will be […]

Hand spinning History Knitting

Inside The Wool Spinning Mistress’s Closet

…each Girl has the following articles given to her: A Pair of Scissors          A Huswife A Thimble                       A Work Box A Knitting Sheath            A Work Bag A Pincushion                   A Comb and Case At Easter she is allowed to have her Scissors ground; a Pincushion and String, Huswif mended, Her Thimble changed… a new Comb if […]

antique textiles Hand spinning

The Story of the Wreck of The General Carleton

The village of Dębki in Poland, long had a myth about a British shipwreck and the survivors who came ashore – although the name of the ship was long forgotten. Dr Michal Wozniewski, interested to see if there was any truth in the Dębki folklore, found the remains of a wooden vessel on the sea […]

antique textiles Hand spinning Knitting

10 Best Patterns From Piecework’s Historical Knitting Collection

The General Carleton hat has just been republished in Interweave’s  ’10 Best Patterns from Piecework’s Historical Knitting Collection’. I’m hearing from museum historical interpreters, and living historians all over, that they have made this hat. Canadians love it for some reason! It has a certain crazy charm to it. If you can’t find the yarn […]

antique textiles Boreray Hand spinning handspinning History Textile Arts

A Week of Roguish Spinning…

On impulse, I entered this year’s Spinzilla competition. Mainly because I’ve spent some time this year figuring out the sheer amounts spun in a day or a week by late 18th/19thC handspinners, and wanted to see if I could equal them; or even if the figures I’d arrived at were feasible. Also because I like […]

Boreray Hand spinning handspinning

On The Perils of Not Enough Rolags and Concerning Being A Luddite

Teasles seen on a bit of wasteland, near Escrick, North Yorkshire, yesterday. They were growing deep into a high ridge of brambles; too inaccessible for us to go and get a closer shot, but here are some teasles in the wild. On Saturday, we were Luddites at Armley Mills, Leeds Industrial Museum, for the launch […]

Hand spinning handspinning History Leeds local history

Mr Antis and his ‘contrivance’.

We’ve spent some time looking at the workhorse Great Wheel of the common woman – and ‘professional’ spinner – as far as any 18thC spinner was ‘professional’… So… How about them there fancy spinning wheels?  York became a centre of excellence for wheelmakers in the late 18thC and early 19thC so I didn’t have to […]