Family heirloom – The Great Wheel

My Uncle David has offered me his Great Wheel to have for keeps. I am thrilled and honoured. I remember his Great Wheel from  my childhood and it is an awesome creation. Here is a picture of it from many years ago, with my cousin Libby demonstrating:

great wheel007

My Uncle, David Barnett, is an amazing engineer, carpenter and woodturner and he has designed and built all sorts of looms and spinning equipment over the years, in his spare time, as a hobby. He has made all of my giant knitting needles for my extreme knitting projects. He is best known for the Barnett Drum Carder, which was very sought-after by the spinning community for its superior design. Now he’s retired and he doesn’t make them any more, although they occasionally come up for sale on ebay and he can still supply spare parts.

I have wonderful childhood memories of family visits when I was encouraged to have a go at spinning, weaving, knitting, rug making, and embroidery. Obviously knitting became my thing and it’s never left me. But with my family history of old-time creative textile arts, I have always wanted to learn to spin. One of my Aunts was an expert spinner and weaver, and she used to teach spinning classes. She taught me to spin as a child, but that lesson is a distant memory now and sadly she is no longer here to teach me. But I’m sure my Uncle will show me how to get started.

As the only knitter in the family, they would like the Great Wheel to have a good home. It’s a very large thing so gawd knows where I’ll put it, but I will find a spot for it. My OH is fascinated and thinks it’s a wonderful thing to accommodate, and anyway, he has a nine and a half foot piano in the living room so is hardly in a position to object!

I found this video on YouTube showing a Great Wheel in action. It’s rather lovely…

Till next time,

L x

Advertisements

Creative Space

To be creative, you need the time, space and inspiration to express yourself in your chosen medium.  If you are trying to create around a full time job and other commitments, that time and space are all the more precious.  I am loving my new workroom!

Due to a massive re-organisation of stuff upstairs, I now have a whole room for my creative space.  You don’t really need a lot of room to knit in, but it makes a difference when you are surrounded by the yarn and objects of your choice, rather than someone else’s gear relating to their project.  This room was previously a music studio, but that has gradually been moved downstairs.  A few bulky bits of gear were left, but after nearly 2 years of no use at all, we decided to clear it all out.  OH built me a worktable using the leftover piece of beech kitchen worktop and beeswaxed the surface.  I re-organised my yarn stash and gathered all my knitting books and resources together on the shelves.  It’s a fantastic hangout for me and the lads, when music stuff is happening downstairs.

Workroom Larry

From my chair I can see every ball of yarn in the stash.  Which tells me that I’m going to need more shelves.

I also have space for my spinning wheel.  I haven’t learned how to spin yet, and my wheel needs some attention, but for now it’s a beautiful and inspirational object and I love it.

Spinning Wheel

The stand next to it is a 1930’s cake stand.  I can just imagine it loaded with cakes, and the waitress in a frilly apron….  So where better to keep my knitted cake samples, in cake tins, on the cake stand.

Having said that, I feel that I’ve ‘done’ cakes, and it’s time I moved on.  I have a few ideas in the pipeline, but creative decisions take me a long time.  Hopefully my new creative space will help me to get moving.

Till next time,

L x