her name is clara

i've been surprised with my descent into the rabbit-hole. that's what they call it on the antique spinning wheels forum on ravelry. once you get the bug for antique wheels, it's as if you have dropped down to wonderland, and your wheels multiply as fast as rabbits. every time i meet someone there who seems to have a lot of wheels, then i meet someone who makes their collection look very.very.small. one ravelry friend has 35 wheels. some people think getting a new wheel for every year you've been spinning is very reasonable.

i've been in kind of a minimalist mode since we moved to NC. minimal for me, anyway. i love stuff, but the old house just got completely unmanageable, so i wanted our new home a bit more streamlined and modern, but still cosy. all that seems to have gone out the window now as i indulge my passions for second/third/whatever-hand quilts, and now wheels. one good thing about all this rabbit-hole is that much of my time there has been spent reading, and so i'm learning a *lot* about wheels, and consequently about spinning.

so i'm shyly introducing my new muse, clara. she's an antique swiss production wheel. i adopted her from a spinner in oregon.

she has so many lovely details, and so much to teach me. she's one of those wheels where you sit sideways, treadle with your right foot and the wheel spins toward you! i like being able to watch the bobbin fill, and once she gets going, i get quite a breeze off the flyer! she also has "captive rings" on her spokes, which clatter when you're spinning slowly!

i've been spinning since around 1998, but i've never been technical about it at all. i usually just do whatever i like and what works for my projects. now i'm very interested in learning all the "rules" of spinning because i want to understand everything about it. with clara's help i've been spinning woolen, long-draw, which is wild, and also means having to learn more about wool prep. spinning is truly its own universe.

i love you, clara.


  1. Oh my Gollywoggles! Clara is beautiful!!
    Thankyou for sharing pics of her .... and I do agree that spinning is own pandora's box :)
    Happy Spinning & discovering your world of fibre

  2. Oh Drucilla, Clara is a beauty !!!
    I'm sure your yarn will be even more gorgeous, now that you're going to work together ...
    x x x

  3. i've had people roll their eyes at me for being rule oriented - no knots!! - but it's best to know the rules so you can choose to break them.
    can't wait to see where your rabbit hole leads you!

  4. OK. I've never spun in my life, but Clara's kinda hot...

  5. and here's your gorgeous blog! i'm slowly branching out in this blog land-there's so much to discover.

  6. that is lovely. I didn't actually know that there were rules to spinning. My mother had a wheel in our house when I was kid--it seemed much larger than this--like a wagon wheel size. But I was very small. If you feel like writing about the techey aspects you find out ablout, I think that would be a wonderful read!

  7. thanks everyone for the warm welcome for clara! fibery hugs from both of us!

    perpetua, that sounds like a great wheel. they are huge. i've never spun on one but would love to someday. i'm glad you're interested in techy spinny stuff - it would be fun to share as i go..