Random Photos

Every so often, Ravelry or some other board provides an opportunity for photos not related to knitting. But they need to be linked from somewhere! This page provides parking for those random photos.

A US Patent, circa 1925, for an enhancement to a spinning wheel bearings and flyer:

hyacinthe bordua patent


Sunset on Sea Girt beach, July 4, 2009

A fleece from Windswept Shetlands:

A white shetland fleece from Windswept:

February 21, 2011: Witch Hazels blooming in the front garden.

The tensioning on my CPW

Mystery wheel and its tensioning:

Miner’s heads

and the MOAs



irish castle closeups




9 Responses to Random Photos

  1. Linda says:

    Hi, Kat. My husband (Scott) and I met you at Allaire’s State History Fair on Sunday. I tried looking you up on Ravelry and couldn’t find you. I wanted to befriend you on Rav and email the photo I took of the two of you. Send me with your Rav info and we’ll hook up on there and your email address for the pic.

    It was great learning about spinning. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Alun Bush says:

    I was wandering in the web looking for the date when flyers were invented and found your site. I liked some of the photos.

    I once wrote a wee book on how to make a spinning wheel from a bicycle for someone who wanted me to make one. I have made 26 but I’m 80 now and can’t walk any more.

    Below is a wee bit from the book on how to make the fliers. The illustrations wouldn’t copy to this but I could do them if you wanted.

    The Really Difficult Bit

    This is the wee bit that the yarn runs through as it is spun. You will need a lathe to make this. I made my ones out of ½” rod. The hole is about 6.4 mm. It wants to be as big as the metal will stand to allow for slubs to go through it. The hole in the side has to be drilled diagonally which is easy enough if you start off at right angles and then alter course as you progress. I have seen a Dryads wheel in which the hole was drilled straight through and it was a tedious pest to thread the yarn through. (It should be noted that some steel machines up more smoothly than others so don’t use any old coarse stuff)
    That wee bit has a ¼” hole drilled on the lathe in the other end into which is brazed the spindle. There is a ¼” thread near the other end of the spindle beyond which it is machined down to make a bearing surface. (If the spindle were made of 6mm rod I think it might be rather flimsy. On the other hand 8mm seems too big. I expect I haven’t succumbed to the metric lark properly yet)
    The fliers are made from bits of hydraulic brake pipe brazed on as in the illustration. Their outside diameter is 8 or 9mm.
    There are an even number of holes holes drilled through the fliers on both sides. The hooks are made of spokes and are replaceable. Frenzied spinning ladies wear them out quite often.

    The hooks are made from spokes in the shape of staples in a staple machine of the same width as the holes in the fliers or a very tiny bit larger. They can then be pressed through the holes and then pop in the last bit and don’t want to come out. They are then bent into suitable hooks with a pair of pliers. It is a good idea to file them a bit smooth so as to save tears when a child reaches into them when they are spinning. Mind you they never do it more than once.

  3. Alun, I believe I have a copy of your book on converting a bicycle into a spinning wheel and am flattered that you dropped by! Thank you for your kind words. From what I have been able to research, flyers came into being around 1500-1520, possibly in Belgium and the regions where there was a lace industry; lacemaking requires an inordinate amount of linen thread. I believe there is a DaVinci drawing of a flyer, but it was made after the flyer’s introduction so is not considered the original design. Feel free to share anything else you may find so we can shed some light on this!

  4. Alun Bush says:

    I thought I had sent you a couple of spinning wheel photos just now but they came back.
    This blog thing is a bit beyond my understanding. Please will you give me a real email address. I promise not to tell the spammers.

  5. Try this, Alun: woolmerchantsdaughter (at) yahoo[dot]com


  6. Tambra J.Bray says:

    I have what I believe to be a very very old spinning/walking/flax wheel I really don’t know which it is. I would “LOVE” to donate or give to a place that would appreciate what it is and display it. I have had it for about 40 years and have only used it as a “Pretty” to decorate with. I love the look of it but now that I’m retired and we are downsizing there really isn’t the room to display properly without it being compromised and maybe broken so I would love to find a home for it. We are in the Seattle area. Any ideas? My email is tjeannetteb@yahoo.com. Would love to hear from someone who’s interested

  7. My apologies for not replying sooner, but life gets in the way sometimes! I would be glad to look at photos of your wheel to see what you have. I can also check with some Seattle area spinners!

  8. Hi, I am from Woodstock CT. and am trying to get our very old Norwegian Spinning wheel working. It is a double drive and in good condition, except the wheel is slightly warped. We have tried putting some leather pieces here and there to steady areas but the band keeps jumping off. Is it possible to fix the warped wheel? Worth taking all apart? My husband a carpenter and son both good with machinery and hands on projects.
    I have an ashford which works “well” but really love the fine yarn that comes from the old wheel.
    Thanks for the advice. ( braaten underscore hill@juno.com)
    Bob and Marilyn Braaten

  9. Hi, Marilyn! Some warped wheels can be brought back into line; it depends on how badly they are warped. Would you be able to email me some photos? woolmerchantsdaughter (at) yahoo dot com

    A good test to see how badly the wheel is warped — removed the drive wheel from the uprights. Then take two boards and place them on sawhorses (or chair backs, as long as they are level!). Leave a space in between the boards and set the drive wheel down so the axle goes into the gap between the boards. Holding the wheel level, turn it slowly to see where it scrapes against the board and there is your warp. You may need to turn it over and try the other side if the warp is subtle.

    Remember that it took some time for the warp to form, so it will take some time to un-warp. You will need to keep the wheel set up on the boards, block the unwarped section level, and clamp it down (use bubble wrap between wheel and boards/clamps to help prevent marks). The warp is going to need either steam or dampness, so you will most likely need to refinish it eventually. If the warp is bad, you may need to soak the wheel overnight (a child’s wading pool is great for this). This way, the wood is evenly wet. You will need to clamp it down and put the slightest bit of pressure on the warp. Every day or so, add a bit more — like, turn the clamp over the warp no more than 1/4 a turn a day. Eventually, you should see it flatten out. Like I said, it takes time! But a photo or two will help also, so I can see how much the warp is and where it is. Does it look like any spokes were replaced? I have seen a wheel warp because new spokes were put in that were the tiniest bit long than the originals and it threw off the wheel’s balance. You never know what you will find with old wheels!


    Kat Crippen
    The Wool Merchant’s Daughter

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

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 )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: