Tuesday, January 5, 2016

'Spin like a Ghost' posted to YouTube

My YouTube video:
'Spin like a Ghost' is Here (https://youtu.be/oOEMx5nFV1M)

In which I use an 1808 CE Great (or Walking) Wheel to spin wool into woolen style yarn.

Ghostly Work in the Granger Pioneer House.  The Granger family settled in Wayne County in 1812. Mr. Granger's first wife died at a young age around 1825, leaving small children behind.  At that time, many pioneers were settling in areas half water/swamp and half drumlin hilly farm land. Mosquitos brought fevers, especially yellow fever to many. Mr. Granger remarried the next year and lived in this field stone house until he moved to Michigan in the 1840's. We purchased his house in the early 1980's.  I don't particularly believe in ghosts.  However, one night when I was sleeping in the old part of the house, near the oldest fireplace, I woke up screaming from a vivid dream.  There was a woman in the shadowy part of the room dressed in a brown dress with a rather high waist.  She was advancing towards me.  She didn't want me there, hence the (real time) screaming.  Once I was fully awake, I saw no more ghost.  I never slept in that room again, however.

A few years later, I encountered the 1808 wheel for sale in the same small town.  It came from the Granger sisters, who were descendants of the same large pioneer family and never threw anything out.  This 1808 wheel has characteristics of finely made wheels coming from Pennsylvania, especially the developed areas near Philadelphia, PA.  The Grangers migrated from New England thru Phelps NY.  But it is hard to say if other pioneers married into the family and the wheel came with them, or it was purchased from someone with PA connections in the area.

I love the fine quality of this wheel.  It is very stable with undamaged wheel bearings, handmade screw nut to hold the wheel in place and an interesting tensioning feature with a heart-shaped handmade screw at the bottom of the drive head post.  It was missing the drive head, which the Granger sisters could not find.  Not an uncommon problem.  There is no Maker's Mark on the wheel table, only No. 157, and the date 1808. (NOTE: the loom behind the wheel was part of the inheritance of a different pioneer family from Phelps NY.  It is a late 1700's/early 1800's linen weaver's loom. It still had the last warp on it when found (a rag rug) and string heddles.  It also came up from Pennsylvania to NYS.)

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