Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A New Vocabulary

During the course of the last month, I've picked up a few new words. I wish I could say I've taken to spinning like a fish in water, but the truth is, spinning yarn is not the easiest thing I've ever done. My mind can visualize what I want to make, but my feet and hands just can't seem to do the tasks in sync.

I've purchased a couple of books to help me learn as this seems to be the way that works best for me. I can watch others, but until I know the language involved, nothing really seems to click. Knowing the meanings of the words I hear helps me put it all together. And this new language? Well, I'm learning to like it. Just take a look to see what I mean:

Treadle: noun. an Old English word meaning stair or step. The treadle is a lever that operates the machine. This little piece of the spinning wheel is what's giving me headaches and insane looking product. Too fast, too slow, not enough= the kind of yarn I'm making. I should have named this blog Twisted Sister for that's what I'm making: lot's of twisted yarn. My granny had a treadle sewing machine but when she sewed, her movements looked very smooth, and not like my herkie-jerkie movements because my head, hands and feet can't seem to work as one.

Footman: also a noun that generally means a liveried servant who admits visitors and waits on tables, but in this case, the footman connects the treadle to the drive wheel. I think the footman is in part to blame for my twisted yarn. Off with his head!

Maidens: again a noun and not one denoting virgins. These are the upright arms that hold the flyer and bobbin in place. Have I mentioned that since my yarn is so thick and twisted, it takes me no time at all to fill up a bobbin? If I were to buy a spinning wheel, I think I'd need a lot of bobbins right now because instead of being svelte and smooth, my yarn is pretty chunky. Sort of like me.

It's beginning to sound as old fashioned as a fairy tale, isn't it?

And as in any proper fairy tale, there is a Mother. Not a passive, victimized mother, nor an evil stepmother. No indeed. On a spinning wheel, there is the Mother-of-all. This particular part of the wheel includes the base and Maidens that support the flyer (which holds the bobbin).

I can just imagine the person who invented spinning wheels naming the parts as he made them. Did he think this particular part gave birth to the other parts, or did he think it was a mother*** to make? I'm not clear on that, but what I am clear on is that by imagining the spinning wheel as a character in a tale of old, I'm at least learning the names of the parts.

Here is a picture of what I expect I'll look like by the time I finally get this art form:

Photo: Google Images


Stephanie V said...

Interesting how we all learn differently. Like you, I need a book with the words - and maybe a few relevant pictures. Then, I can get what you're showing me.

Good luck with the spinning. I tried with a spindle but I wasn't very handy with it.

Rudee said...

Stephanie-The spindle is helping me to learn that the problem is in my drafting zone. I'm been fiddling with my spindle all morning, and I'm making some mighty beautiful yarn. I'm amazed. The wheel gives me fits, but I'm hoping I'll eventually grasp that too. Either way, I'm am so smitten with the targhee top that I'm spinning right now and can't wait to produce enough to finally knit something with it!

flydragon said...

It won't be long now, before you're spinning like a top, not before you look like the picture:)

Brenda said...

Funny how easy the lady that I watched made this look. Maybe it is just like most things. When I am first learning something new, it seems to take me forever to just get it all sorted in my mind and body, but once I get it, I think why did I make that so hard. The lady that I watched handed out a sheet of paper with the meaning of some of these terms. Looks like this new blog is coming along great.

debra said...

I give you a lot of credit for continuing with this. As for the woman in the photo who is an experienced spinner, you have much better taste in clothes :-)

Rositta said...

I have a spinning wheel at my cottage that looks just like that. Needs a little repair though I think. You're doing really well. Luckily you have someone to teach you nearby. There are no classes offered in my part of town. Maybe for next winter I'll try it...ciao

Jadekitty said...

I love the definitions, and I'm sure it will be a happy ending for you and the spinning wheel!

Glennis said...

I love the header picture of all that wonderful wool, so fuzzy and curly, very silky.

Jackie said...

I just found your blog and I am a new spinner I have a ashford wheel for about two years and need to spend some time with it.
Your blog has inspired me.


Adrian LaRoque said...

Great post!