Mudcat Café message #387440 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #30259   Message #387440
Posted By: Kim C
01-Feb-01 - 10:07 AM
Thread Name: Help: Shule Aroon: sell my rock, rod, reel
Subject: RE: Help: Shule Aroon: sell my rock, rod, reel
A rock, as I understand it, is the whorl part of a drop spindle - the part that spins around. Drop spindles go back thousands of years (the spinning wheel was only developed about 500 years ago) and continued to be used by people in more rural parts of Europe because you can literally walk and spin at the same time. It's documented that women in the Shetlands tended sheep while knitting or drop spindling - today we call it multi-tasking! Even today women in South America use the drop spindle. I have five of my own and love to spin although I rarely have time for it anymore.

Most spindles now are nicely crafted and have well-balanced wooden whorls, but in the old days a rock or stone whorl was very common and these have come up in excavations all over the world. Some people still craft spindles with stone whorls, but there's a reason they call it a DROP spindle (hahaha) and such things are easily broken.

A reel, I think, is what we call nowadays a yarn winder, the thing you wind the yarn onto after spinning so you can skein it up. It has also been called a "weasel," and some make a loud pop after so many turns.

Anyway someone who had to spin her own stuff would have likely had a rock, a reel, and a spinning wheel, and all would have been quite valuable to her.