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Author Topic: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project  (Read 6061 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« on: January 14, 2015, 11:01:49 am »
I know at least one TASer who will be interested in this project!  Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2015, 05:58:59 pm »
Sounds fascinating and it would be interested to read the finished work.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2015, 12:08:23 am »
Heavens, that's a mega project  :o but it will be great to have such a research project specifically into wheel spinning.  5 years though - not sure I'll still be around when it's all written up.

Spinners had to work so hard spinning enough for the weavers - long days, poor light especially in the winter, the need to have a continuous supply of children to card the fibre  :innocent: and I doubt the spinner had much control of the pay she received.  I love spinning on my wheels, but if I had to do it hour after hour, day after day, year after year, I know I would hate it  :spin:
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Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2015, 11:44:14 pm »
Yes, there's a big difference between a hobby and something you have to do. In the crofting days, the women would walk out to the peat bogs where the men had cut the peat and left them t drain. They would be using their drop spindles all the way there and all the way back, when they had creels of still wet so very heavy peat on their backs. No letting up from the spinning just because their shoulders were aching.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2015, 11:47:59 pm »
They tell similar stories on Shetland, Lesley, only it's knitting they were doing - the knitting belt enabled one-handed knitting, so they could knit with one hand and carry something with the other.  I guess it maybe was too windy for spindling!   :D
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
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Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2015, 01:08:34 am »
They were knitting one handed???

I've worked out how to knit and walk (great for queues) but being able to knit one handed would be amazing.

The women of our past were amazing folk indeed. Made of strong stuff and driven by need.

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

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Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2015, 07:46:43 am »
The photos you see of Shetland women with knitting in their hands and heavy baskets on their backs is not single-handed knitting, but it is knitting stranded knitting having the wool in both hands and somehow managing to switch over... I don't think you can actually knit with one hand?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2015, 10:36:51 am »
The photos you see of Shetland women with knitting in their hands and heavy baskets on their backs is not single-handed knitting, but it is knitting stranded knitting having the wool in both hands and somehow managing to switch over... I don't think you can actually knit with one hand?

I knit stranded with a yarn in each hand; I haven't quite managed to do it with my knitting belt yet, but I will!

When I use the knitting belt, the only thing my right hand is doing is delivering the yarn.  The left hand is doing everything else.  So yes, you can knit one-handed with the knitting belt; you just need hold the yarn continental-style over the left hand.  I haven't mastered that yet, but I will!

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2015, 09:47:32 pm »
My elder son was born with only one hand and a short forearm. I taught him to knit by holding one needle under his arm and doing all the work with the other needle.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2015, 10:46:05 am »
I was interested to learn more about the one-handed knitting (or not), so I asked Hazel Tindall, Hand Knitting Specialist.  She's a Shetlander, has twice won the accolade "The World's Fastest Knitter" (in which she uses her knitting belt ;) ), and she was Patron of Shetland Wool Week 2014.  I was lucky enough to be on one of her Stranded Knitting Workshops last year.

Here's our conversation :

Me:
Quote
Hazel, please could you settle a debate? I can see in theory how one could knit one-handed using a knitting (or makin') belt, holding the yarn 'continental-style' in the left hand - but does anyone actually *do* this as far as you know? And in your opinion, would the crofters of old have done it?
 

Hazel:
Quote
People who have had strokes find this is a way to keep going. I was asked if I could knit one handed by someone planning an odd project. I tried with belt and could manage with my left hand - had to sit on my right hand! No-one would knit with just one hand from choice, in my opinion.

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2015, 10:56:56 am »
Found a wee clip of Hazel knitting at speed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjEh7acrr5o

She also made one of her own, to show how to use the knitting belt
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2015, 11:36:57 am »
She keeps the work so close to the needle tips!  I would be dropping stitches right left and centre if I did that.  ::) :knit:

I've never used a knitting belt as I use circular needles even when I'm not knitting circles, but I can see how useful it would be using the long needles, especially if you're walking about.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

   Five Freedoms
   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
   # Freedom from Discomfort.
   # Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease.
   # Freedom to Express Normal Behavior.
   # Freedom from Fear and Distress

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2015, 11:44:20 am »
She does have the work close to the tips yes, but she has her fingers on the stitches, controlling them. 

I used to do all my knitting on circs too, but found I was getting a lot of pain in my right shoulder.  Now I use the knitting belt when convenient and appropriate, and circs at other times.  I've also learned to do the 'armpit' method, which gives me another position to choose, to use different muscles again ;)

Now I am used to the knitting belt, I prefer it to circs.  I have very long dpns and very very long dpns!   :D  I spend less time squooshing the knitting along using them than I do with circs.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2015, 10:03:38 pm »
How does a knitting belt work?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Spinning in the Era of the Spinning Wheel project
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2015, 12:45:40 am »
How does a knitting belt work?

Found a wee clip of Hazel knitting at speed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjEh7acrr5o

She also made one of her own, to show how to use the knitting belt.

Have a watch of those videos, Lesley; they both show Hazel using hers.  The second one she's slowing it down so you can see clearly how she handles the stitches, and how the pin is positioned in the belt.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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