I've been keeping my eye out for an antique Canadian Production Wheel (CPW) and found this pretty wheel at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival. Diane from Acorn Fiber Works had just picked her up from an estate sale the week before, so I think it was destiny ;-).
This wheel was made by Frederic Bordua, from Sainte Hyacinthe, Quebec. It was likely made between 1870-1923. 1923 because that's when he died, so I'm guessing the wheel is easily 100 years old.
Apparently most people "name" their CPWs (and other wheels). I don't have any of my wheels named, but maybe I could be uber clever and call her Hyacinthe ;-).
Her "chicken nut". Do you see it?
Cast iron treadle.
This wheel has worked very hard. See the groove from where the yarn travels from the hooks through the orifice?
See all the tiny grooves on the back side of flyer? I think those are wear marks, too. I believe I've seen someone make a cross over a flyer to change tension or draw in or something, but I'm not sure if that would cause those marks. Would wool even do that? Maybe cotton or flax?
No marks on the hook sides. Any thoughts?
A trait of the CPWs is that they chatter to you as they spin. This wheel has a lot to say! She spins perfectly, but I'm wondering if she's a little louder than she should be. Sounds like it's coming from the bobbin area. The only thing I see that appears a little suspicious is that the two maidens don't seem exactly even. The left one is a bit tipped forward compared to the right. Is that a clue? Anything else I should look for?
Or should I just listen to her stories and enjoy her?
I think she was pretty happy to spend some time stretching her legs on the back porch yesterday :-).
Don't you wish these wheels (and other antiques) could really talk?