Women Talk

Guess who got to spin on this wheel this weekend?

Yup! That’s right. This lady right here!

Yes, I’m still spinning on this little guy too.

I’ve had to change the cop shape to keep piling on the singles. Now, I can finish spinning the rest of the half I plan for this spin.

But, this weekend, I was a volunteer at the mill and I needed to demo a wheel. So, I took my Ashford Joy. But when I got there, I found that there was a wheel already there…and it was just too beautiful!

This is a repaired antique wheel that the mill just got back. Since we had an open house yesterday, I got to demo on it. Stacie, our site manager, is going to show me all of the dents where the years of wear are shown. There are even indentations in the wood from the fibers passing through the wheel as it was being spun! It boggles my mind to think of how many women must’ve sat to spin on this wheel to have produced those marks.

I spent the day with Carlie and Stacie. It’s a tough job keeping the mill alive with such a lack of historical professional volunteers in the area. But these ladies sure make the place look good! We talked a lot about the mill’s history and our ideas about how to keep it running. We find we have a great many ideas without the volunteer help to make it happen, at times.

We also talked about slowing down and enjoying life amidst the struggles life inevitably brings.

Stacie is a knitter and has been working on a hat.

This is probably one of those rare times she actually gets a few minutes to work that pattern. Non-profits are pretty busy!

In between time, when I wasn’t spinning on the antique wheel, I spun on my own wheel.

I love these colors! And I love this wheel too. I can get way faster more comfortably on my wheel than the antique wheel. Β There was a volunteer there, however, who explained that years ago, the pace was so much slower in spinning that women would just fall asleep at the wheel…the spinning and treadling was in pace with the heartbeat. When a child was restless, you could put the child on your lap while spinning, and within minutes, the tired, little thing would be fast asleep. I thought that was fascinating! I imagine these kinds of stories about what women did are probably passed by word-of-mouth more than any other method. Women weren’t high priorities once upon a time, so those stories probably weren’t important to document. These days, women are better about making themselves priorities though. That’s a good thing. Taking the time to give back to ourselves is important for us and our families.

But, I have to admit, there’s still a part of me that wants to see my yarn now! There’s only so much slow I can endure, I guess. πŸ™‚

Finding the places where history and the present collide is always interesting…

Then, too, finding that some things never change is still so comforting.

When we get together, women will talk.


  1. its funny. when my grandkids are young, I put them to sleep sitting in my lap as I spin…

  2. It is wonderful that you and other supporters of the Mill give what you can to keep it going. I attended the 100th anniversary celebration of Multnomah Falls being designated a public park about ten days ago. In the process I read the history of how the park came to be. Part of the celebration was reenacting some of the public ceremony that originally took place when the park was first opened, which was fun but also instructive. Many people have contributed to the park to keep it going. The event’s coordinator invited me to attend the centennial celebration ceremony and as I posted about it I found myself appreciating all the more her contribution along with the many others who through the years have given what they could to keep the park open. I hope the Mill will continue to draw supporters to sustain it.

    So far spinning has not made me sleepy, nor can I quite imagine how it would send a child sitting on my lap to sleep…but the image is charming πŸ™‚ xx

    • I hope the mill draws more supporters too, Gracie. I believe the board members give what time they have to spare. But there is so much to be done. The board needs more hands…and the mill needs more money for restoration projects. It has been an uphill battle for years, as far as I can ascertain.

      It is a charming image, isn’t it? Just not one I imagine I’ll see with the kind of kid I have lol! Girl Child is about as likely to fall asleep while I spin as I am to fly to the moon with my eyes open! Given my uncanny ability to avoid the airplane for all but two times in life, with much kicking and screaming when I did, it’s just not gonna happen. πŸ™‚

  3. Things like that antique wheel are fascinating to me. All the living, still in use history is one of my favorite things about living in Virginia. I also kind of wish I had a baby handy to try that spinning-to-sleep thing. It sounds amazing.

    • Now, that makes me want to visit Virginia again. I think the mill may be one of the only places in Delaware where there is an active fiber community and antiques like that are “run of the mill”, no pun intended. I can’t imagine being in an area where it was everywhere you turned. Virginia must be awesome! In fact, the only thing that may delay my visiting might be the size of your mosquitos!! πŸ™‚

  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Your pics always tell the best story!


  1. […] only started this spin months ago. Saturday night, I made the decision to finish spinning the singles given the fact that I don’t […]

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: