Long, long ago, I bought a spinning wheel from a trusted 18th Century seller on Ebay. But even with the stunning patina of the wood, I just couldn't be sure of it's age...
I know nothing at all about spinning. But, anything related to making and working with cloth makes my tummy tingle!
The spinning wheel arrived and I had nowhere to put it. So it went into Poppies Cottage cellar, the only room in the cottage with the original ceiling beams, and the room that, from the day I moved in, was 'wouldn't it be lovely if this was renovated?' But never was. And probably never will be.
I loved the spinning wheel. But nobody ever saw it! It gathered dust. I worried about it for years.
Along came Claire with her wonderful alpacas! You can find her story at www.facebook.com/HollyHagg
Now Claire just adores spinning wheels. As one would if living life with Alpacas! She runs a Fleece Club where members learn to spin and to share their skills and achievements with each other. She just loved my rather neglected 18th Century wheel, despite it lacking a few bits here and there. It joined her collection of wheels, all in the process of being made as good as new, with the help of local woodworkers, just as passionate as she.
Claire started to send me information about the wheel, beginning with this book reference:
So... An exciting chance that she could identify my spinning wheel. In the meantime, Claire very kindly asked me to name the wheel, and of course, it had to be 'Poppy'. And, Poppy she became!
Claire started to dismantle and clean Poppy, identifying the pieces she would need to make her workable. Emails across the world found some parts that might just fit ....
Claire eventually found Poppy's twin at the American Textile History Museum. And here it is!
We can only marvel at the cloth that was spun on Poppy & her American twin during the 18th Century. Oh my! Claire will revive Poppy to continue her work in the 21st. Who knows what wonderful textiles may come of it?
A story of rags to riches. Cinderella in the cellar to a star princess of Claire's world. Thank you Claire [& the alpacas of course]