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Things To Do

Interactive Activity: Great Wheel

Tool Demonstration: Great Wheel

Wait for the file to download, then click the arrow to play the movie.


Transcript of movie: Wool yarn is made up of sheep hairs that have been twisted tightly together. And to do this we use a spinning wheel. There are several different types-- the one shown here is called a “great”, a “wool”, or a “walking” wheel. With my left hand I hold the wool off at an angle so that the same little bit that's already been twisted falls off and on the tip of the spindle. This pushes twists up towards my hand. I try to stay ahead of that by stretching out the wool to the thickness I want. My right hand powers the wheel, makes the spindle turn, and my two hands work together so that I get the thickness of yarn that I want. Once the spindle is full, I have to stop and then take the yarn off before I can do more spinning.

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