Jun 16
Fiber at Spring Mill
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Historically Speaking | icon4 06 16th, 2014| icon31 Comment »

I lucked out last Sunday at Spring Mill because it was a Fiber Event weekend.  I started out over at one of the residences where a gentleman who works at Spring Mill set up some of the wheels he has restored.

restored wheels

I thought I had gotten a picture of him telling me about them, but the picture must have not taken.  That is happening more and more with my camera, but it has been used a lot and is beginning to show its age.

Also, on a table, he had this:

salesman sample wheel

This is a salesman’s sample and the older man believed it was from the 1850’s.  It did not belong to him, but to another employee of Spring Mill (and someone I happen to know from fiber festivals).  He’s going to make a couple of bobbins for it.  Isn’t it a beaut?


This lady was spinning the Shetland you see at the bottom left of the picture – raw.  Sorry, but I love my wheel too much to feed it anything but washed wool to spin.  Still, it was a nice, dual-coated Shetland in a deep black.


Under one of the shade trees in the yard was this lady quilting on a quilt.  I spoke with her for a while and she was really sweet and friendly.

In the building that is behind Scott in the picture of him yesterday is the Granny White House and inside there was several different wheels and a large loom.


One of the wheels was a very interesting specimen – one that I had read about, but never seen in person.  A Trolley Spinning Wheel!


I did a search online, and came up with a couple of articles on them.  Here’s one, and here’s another.

I wish this one had been out and working because I would have love to see it in use.

The Sheek House (Weaver’s House) was built in another location not too far from the park in the early 1800’s.  In one of the outbuildings was a loom owned by the Sheek family and when the house was dismantled and relocated and brought to Spring Mill Village, the loom was brought with it and installed in the main room of the house.


It is still in use today.  Small world side note: When I was in college, my roommate my final year was a girl named Sandy Sullivan (not my business partner, but still a good friend today).  Sandy and I do genealogical research together and have been for over 20 years.  She discovered that she descends from this same Sheek family and that her ancestors wove on that loom.  Needless to say, I brought her down to Spring Mill and took her to see her ancestor’s home as well as the loom. Cool, huh?

In another room of this house, an older gentleman was spinning on a walking wheel.

walking wheel

Before a family with children came in, he and I talked about spinning and about the different tools used.  He was as fascinated with the subject as I am.  Then a family with three children came in and I stood back.  Here he is demonstrating how the wheel works to the children.


Then he “helped” one of the girls spin on it.  She thought it was magic and he sent her home with the plied-on-itself bit of yarn she had spun.  One day, I hope she remembers this and learns how to spin for real.