Meet Aurora! This is my new spinning wheel, a beautiful, beautiful old girl that my darling daddy gave me for Christmas. There is a lot of work to do on her, so you’ll get that over the next few months, but for now you get to meet her as she is.
You can probably guess why she is called Aurora. Whenever I am demonstrating, I get asked “what part of the spinning wheel did Sleeping Beauty prick her finger on?” Well, Aurora is closer to the version of a spinning wheel that allows this to happen than my Ashford Traditional is (Quasimodo, for reference…) The picture below shows Aurora reaching forward for the fateful moment – she is actually reaching for the distaff in this picture, and not a spindle – well, Aurora has a distaff!
Folklore aside (I will answer the question of the spindle one day soon), Aurora is a castle style wheel, meaning everything is vertically arranged, and giving a more compact wheel. The flyer arrangement is above the actual wheel, and the yarn is spun directly above the wheel as it spins. She also has a big distaff and a basket arrangement that fleece can sit in.
I have spent literally hours trying to identify Aurora on the web. There are no makers marks on her, she has no ‘modern’ materials, i.e. plastics or rubbers on her, and she has some ancient metal and leather components that are nothing like I’ve ever seen before. I did find something that is close here, which is listed as being from the early 1800’s – it has the same components, but not the big basket for fleece here.
I have asked Ravelry for advice, and so far the main thing they have said is that I should stick her in a bag until I’ve treated her for woodworm, then sand and oil her up! I’ve joined an antique spinning wheel group now, and will keep you updated as I find out more!
I think this may be a slippery slope into antique spinning equipment…any thoughts?