Five years ago, I started on my spinning journey. At first, all I wanted to do was figure out what I was doing. My goal was to be able to spin without the thread breaking, or underspinning, or overspinning, or taking the finished yarn off the bobbin and have it twist up like an unbalanced pretzel.
Currently, I consider myself an advanced beginner. I can spin sort of consistently; I measure my wpi as I go, and usually stay on track; I’ve learned how to unspin and draft more to smooth out slugs; my plied yarns typically come off the wheel almost completely balanced. (My singles … well .. working on it!) I’m at the point where I need to both continue to practice and to start learning more about the historical side of spinning and how my German persona might have done it.
I am going to start posting some spinning projects as I go. This page will likely be a collection of photos of finished projects with links to the blog post, much like my knitting page. I will also start another annotated bibliography, because research is awesome and I will need documentation for my efforts.
Meyers, Barbara (2001). Textiles and the Reformation.
Barbara Meyers investigates the production of textiles in Europe, with a concentration in the time of the Reformation. She discusses not only the mechanics of production from spindle to wheel to Saxony wheel, but also the context of linen, cotton, and wool production as the feudal economy began to be replaced by a capitalist economy. One of my research interests is how women participated in the new capitalist economy, and this article addresses that topic.
The Spinning Project: Spinning in the era of the spinning wheel, 1400-1800.
With a focus on the history of British handspinning by wheel, this is a five-year research project that includes blog posts, journal articles, and includes a comprehensive list of links for further research. I’m especially enjoying the fact that the researchers place the project in a historical context that gives the reader more of an understanding of where spinning fit into the chronology of spinning in the home as an industry to the time it was coopted by the Industrial Revolution. Some of the research is a little out of the SCA period, but knowing more of the full history of the craft gives, in my opinion, a bit of enjoyment knowing how the crafts we pursue changed and evolved over time. (This is especially helpful when explaining what we do at demos and how we can link medieval/Renaissance history with our current age.)