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antique textiles Halifax Hand spinning History West Riding

Pop Goes The Weasel

  ‘Yarnmaker’ No 18 is just out, and with it a piece I did about Great Wheels .   On a Ravelry thread in the Yarnmaker Group this week, someone referred to this picture, (above) and asked what the elderly lady was doing. The answer is… that is a click  or clock reel. AKA “weasel”. […]

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antique textiles Hand spinning History Huddersfield

Beyond the Spin Count

Huddersfield, yesterday. And having an hour to kill, I found the Local History section of the Library.  I didn’t have time to look for my Huddersfield ancestors, wool weavers and dyers the Smiths, Dawsons and Listers ~ but did find this info I wanted to share, in a fascinating book, ‘The Water-Spinners’, by Chris Aspin, […]

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antique textiles Halifax Hand spinning History Huddersfield local history Minor's Head

“You’re Doing It (Even More) Wrong!” or How The Great Wheel Survived

I’ve hesitated about writing this post. In the same way I hesitate about commenting on YouTube videos that claim to be showing a certain spinning technique – and aren’t. But great wheels are one of my ‘things’. And I couldn’t bear to see inaccuracies stand as ‘facts’. So in the spirit of preserving this craft […]

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Hand spinning History local history Textile Arts West Riding

Mr Craven’s Wool Combs

A few months back, myself and friend, the lovely Caro, spent some time at the Bankfield Museum, in Halifax. We were there to document the spinning wheels – particularly any great wheels – in the reserve collection. For many years, the Bankfield was legendary amongst textile historians and enthusiasts. The current displays are fantastic – […]

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antique textiles Hand spinning handspinning History Re-enactment spindle whorls Textile Arts

Good Cop, Bad Cop

Yesterday, I was watching the incomparable Abby Franquemont’s  video download, ‘Respect The Spindle’. I’ve had the book since the week (hour?) it came out but finally got round to getting the video recently, as despite my thirty odd years’ worth of spinning, knew I’d learn something new from it. And I did. At one point, […]

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antique textiles ganseys Hand spinning History Knitting

The General Carleton Hat

Knitting history is a special corner of textile history, for me, as it tells the story of ordinary people.  Knitting was – and remains – something seen as disposable; comparatively cheap to make, so gets used up, worn out and discarded. Pieces of knitting turn up in the archaeology, and finding out about and reconstructing […]

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antique textiles Brontes Hand spinning Textile Arts West Riding

Sticking It

Here is my first knitting stick, and the only one I currently use. At some point, I was sent some kind of knitting stick by a hobbyist, thinking of making them for sale, I guess  – but it did not look like any stick I have ever seen – and I’ve seen hundreds.  Nor did […]

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antique textiles Hand spinning handspinning spindle whorls Textile Arts

Tour de Fleece 2013 – mojo and mojitos.

The Tour de Fleece runs every year, for the duration of the Tour de France, hand-spinners all over the world set their own wheels spinning, like the cyclists, setting themselves challenges and try to spin yarn daily, even if it’s just for ten minutes.  Some people use the Tour to expand their skills, others just […]

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antique textiles Hand spinning handspinning History nalbinding Textile Arts

Close Knit, or Nalbinded?

One thing about Yorkshire folk is – we don’t suffer fools gladly.  Look away now if you’re squeamish.  This is going to get honest. Anyone coming here from Ravelry,  pull up a chair and bring the popcorn. You already know where I’m going, with this.  I like exploding myths and poking at bullshit with a […]

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antique textiles Hand spinning handspinning History

The Amazing Spinning Cat

  We hear from Wingrove, near Aylsbury in Bucks., that a few Days ago, one Susanna Hannockes, an elderly Woman of that Place, was accused by a neighbour of being a Witch, for that she had bewitched her Spinning-Wheel, so that she could not make it go round, and offered to make an Oath of […]