Saturday, August 21, 2010

31" rim CPW and J Platt wheel

Here are two more wheels ready to go to the Endless Mountains Fiber Festival.

The Canadian Production Wheel has an oversized – and not original - wheel measuring just over 31”. Cyndy spun on it and raved about it.
Price $450.

It is tantalizing that a Josiah Platt from Milford, CT married Sarah Sanford in 1758 and they moved to Newtown, CT. The Sanford family originally came from Milford, CT and Sarah is the sister of Samuel who had the spinning wheel shop across from the family homestead in Newtown. Efforts to definitively prove Josiah Platt made spinning wheels have been unsuccessful. Nevertheless the style of the turnings and decorative black banding suggests a relationship.
Price $500

Monday, August 16, 2010



Here are two Norwegian wheels ready to go the Endless Mountains Fiber Festival in September.

The green and black slanty is almost completely original, in its original paint. Each of its bobbins had one end that was damaged so Fred restored those ends, and replaced the hooks on the flyer. The highly ornate wheel is dated 1846 - - presumably by an owner whose initials are also on the table. The 21” diameter wheel is stamped with the makers handsome flourish on the upper end of the table. The style of the wheel is almost identical with three wheels in the collection of the Norsk Folke Museum that come from the area around Oslo. This wheel either came from there or was made in the USA by a craftsman who trained there. The wheel has two “captive rings” – delicate turned rings that are turned with the hub and mother of all, but not attached - that amazingly have survived over a century and a half without any damage. The extra matching bobbins sit on hand-forged pins and have decorative bead turnings on their shafts. A real beauty! Price $575 SOLD

The second gorgeous wheel is a 25” diameter wheel branded JJG. Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, IA has one by the same maker (Acc.73.8.61, Cat.28.A.47), but the one in the museum collection is not in as good condition.

When it came here, it had been slathered early in its history with green/black paint so that alligatored drips clung to the underside of each graceful spoke. There was only one way to return it to its original glory and that was by removing the hideous paint. Underneath all that paint was the makers mark and handsome chipcarving. Price $550 SOLD

Thursday, August 12, 2010


The National Weather Service said there was a 60% chance of rain for us today then a flood warning. So far not a drop of rain here. The day has just begun though so there is hope.

The chickens were admiring the onion harvest. I pulled the onions because some critter was getting into them. The tomatoes are all getting ripe at once now so more tomato sauce today.

I’ve put off working on a scarf in a handspun tussah silk/ Baby Finn blend in a variation on the Queen Silvia pattern in Nancy Bush’s Estonian Lace knitting book to get the new (to me) table loom set up to try an overshot pattern. Greta came here two days to get me off to a good start! It was great. There were several problems getting the loom to cooperate - - not the least of which is that there are issues with both ratchets, but now – thanks to Greta – I feel as if whatever comes up can be dealt with.

The pattern is a motif from Lee’s Surrender in the Davidson book. I’m using Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet #10 for the warp and a thicker 5/2 cotton from White Wolf and Phoenix.

Sunday, August 08, 2010


We are in a severe drought on Northeast PA, worse than anything I have ever seen. The year started off great with plenty of rain, but then around the end of June the faucet was turned off. We were lucky at first and benefited from a few random thunder storms, but in the past two weeks there has been almost no rain and none forecast for the next week.

There isn’t any gardening to do since even the weeds aren’t growing and the lawn doesn’t need mowed either. Before it got so bad we went and picked 26 quarts of blueberries and I had already made a gallon of black raspberry jam as well as froze some juice. I was so afraid of getting hit with late blight again - - no longer very likely - - that I went ahead and made a batch of green tomato relish which we loved last year. The pepper and eggplant plants are tall and lush, but have little fruit. The tomatoes are loaded and will keep ripening regardless of any rain. The onions are done and I need to get them in.

Wild turkeys are haunting the place scavenging wild black berries and the few thornless blackberries and scrounging the scratch grains we put out for our hens. One of the foods they would normally depend upon for the fall – acorns – aren’t going to be there for them. Tiny, immature acorns are raining down as the trees try to save themselves.

Our crab apple tree looks the worst so far.

The pasture has mostly dried up. On the positive side the fleeces look great!