Call me a Muckle-head

Here's some shots of my (ahem, mom's) walking wheel, otherwise called a great wheel or muckle wheel.
Here she is, my guess about 200 yrs old.
This is the miner's head (aka muckle head or accelerator head) that was replaced. The bottom portion is an original/antique, the top part of the side posts (maidens) and the double wheel were recreated to finish it off. Yes, that's me spinning on it with lime green wool. Sheep are hard to come by in that color. :) Note my little guy in the background holding a spindle & bobbin; at least he's not pretending it's a sword. Sleeping Beauty wouldn't stand a chance with him around.

Another view of the miner's head. It's amazing that all wood parts can work as well as they do, albeit tempermentally.
I've enjoyed the learning process involved with aquiring this wheel. But it's another great case of "the more you learn the less you know." Take my wool, for example. I spun it on a drop spindle with no problems, but feel that it's not prepared well enough for this type of wheel; it needs to be combed out a bit more. I met a spinner from the area who has a similar wheel who attested to the moody nature of these great wheels. She also suggested that plying would be difficult if not impossible (sounds like a challenge to overcome!!).
My biggest difficulting in using this wheel is not technical at all, but rather human-related. As in all the little humans hovering about who wish to "help" spin that big wheel for mom! So yarn production has been very slow due to overabundance of helpers. But perhaps we'll set to work and sew up a bunch of colonial costumes for the family - I can spin while the kids embroider and work the garden and Steve chops wood. We can even charge admission. I think people would pay to see Steve chop wood. Hey, I'd pay to watch him chop wood, especially since we don't even own an axe!

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