Friday, May 15, 2009

Spinning Bee Inspiration

To inspire us all to spin...

Boston News-Letter and New-England Chronicle February 16, 1769

NEW-LONDON January 7.
On the 16th Instant; the Wife of Mr. John Vaughan of Lebanon, agreed upon a spinning Match with a neighboring young Woman; they began their Work three quarters of an Hour after Sunrise, and left off at Nine o’Clock in the Evening of the same Day; in which Time Mrs. Vaughan spun seven Skeins and two Knots of fine Linnen Yarn, each Skein containing 15 Knots; The other Person spun 6 Skeins and 10 Knots, the Skeins of equal Bigness with the first mentioned.—[Would the Sex in general apply their Hands to the Distaff, instead of the idle Apparatus of the Tea-Table, perhaps we need not always be beholden to Asia for our Food, or Europe for our Cloathing.]

How much is that? A thread of linen is 2.25 yards and a knot is 40 threads. A skein may contain any number of knots just like a modern skein may contain any number of ounces. So a skein containing 15 knots has 1350 yards (I think-math isn't my strong point even with a calculator)

We may not get that much spun on Sunday since the spinning matches of the 1760s lasted from dawn to dusk and we'll only be spinning from 1-5.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spinning Bee Buzz

The New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival was this past weekend and I again had a booth to promote the Colonial Spinning Bee. Quite a few people expressed interest so here's hoping they will join us. The long range weather says it should be in the 70s. Here's hoping for a good event.

Pot luck lunch starts at 11:30, spinning follows, stash reduction sale and swap all day.

For details see

Friday, May 1, 2009

from The Boston Post Boy April 22, 1765

It is with the greatest Pleasure we hear of so many of the principal and other inhabitants of this Town refusing to purchase what little Lamb is brought to our Market. We cannot but hope they will continue in this good Resolution, not only as there is such a Plenty of other Provisions, but take into Confidensideration the many Advantages which must naturally arise on having a large Quantity of Wool among us, the Produce of which for one Season only, will be so great as to carry on a considerable Manufacture, at least of necessary Wearin Apparel for ourselves and Children: and we hop(e) in a few Years it will be accounted a Virtue in the Ladies to wear a Garment of their own Spinning.