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Saint Distaff's Day

Today is Saint Distaff's Day, the day spinners would traditionally get back to work after the 12 days of Christmas and the feast of Epiphany.

Traditionally, wheel spinners would bind their wheels with ivy on Christmas Eve, keeping their wheels still over the festive period until today, when distaffs were once again put to use in the production of yarn.

I don't normally mark Saint Distaff's Day as I'm not a) a treadle wheel spinner, b) Catholic or c) a Renaissance-era pesant, but I thought it a lovely opportunity to post a video of the wheel I've just finished restoring.

Here's my first spin on the Sheridan Macarthur.

Do I love this wheel? Ehhh. It actually makes me miss my Eel Wheel 6 (which is tucked up in its carry bag for summer). I think spinning on a 1970s wheel is a lot like driving a 1970s car. Doable, and it will get you where you need to go, but there's a lot of quality of life changes that have been made in the last 50 years that make modern wheels much more enjoyable to use.

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