Tarra - small and sweet

*warning: obsessed spinning post to follow*

It's true, that's what she is. Small compared to my other wheel, which was really becoming rather cumbersome to lug to and from spinning group each week.  Something compact(ish) was what I was after and the classified gods smiled upon me last week when I went to see this little treasure and ended up bringing her home with me..

This is Tarra,  a Carousel:

These spinning wheels were made in Yarram, Victoria up until the 1980's (I think). I can't seem to find much information about them although my spinning friend tells me that they are made from Tasmanian myrtle and are very well built.

It had been used as a display piece in someone's home for several years and as a result the spun wool on the bobbins was brittle and disintegrating to the touch..


She was also rather dusty and missing a drive band. Along with a couple of loose screws and sadly lacking oil on the joints...


I brought her home and got to work cleaning and assessing just what I had on my hands. Was it a crazy, impulse buy that would end up being a dud?

The flyer was removed and I was so glad to see just how sturdy it was, being formed from metal. The surface rust was removed with a dry pot scubbing pad...


A piece of kitchen string was called in to action to serve as a drive band..


All the moving parts were oiled and the screws tightened (and the identification of just where that rattle was coming from!).

And the bobbins came up a treat after the perished wool had been removed. Loathe to waste it, I placed it into the compost..


One of the features that I am loving is the weighted wheel. You can see the weights there at the bottom of the wheel - this means that whenever the foot is released from the pedal the wheel stops in exactly the same position each time..


And hey, hey, you wouldn't believe it but she spins! Smoothly too..thank goodness! I really didn't want to go to all this trouble to have my own 'display piece' to find a spot for, as charming as that would be..


Small, sweet....and upright!


My new carousel obsession in no way lowers my opinion of the Sheridan. That old faithful will most certainly (still) be wonderful to spin on...at home. It's just that sometimes a crafter needs a smaller apparatus, you know?

Comments

  1. So pretty! Congratulations on a great find :)

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  2. How lovely! I think it's a great idea to have a more portable spinning wheel. Mine has only been shoved in the car a few times, but it's not a good fit and is really getting knocked around. Wow! That makes you a serious spinner now that you have a selection of wheels!!!

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  3. So beautiful and she works too, great find.

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  4. What a little beauty. Happy spinning!

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  5. Tarra wheels were made in Yarram near the Tarra Valley. They also made chairs to match the wheels and carders.
    I have an upright Tarra wheel and chair, l like to think my Grandfather helped to make it as he often helped make the spinning wheels :)

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    1. That is a really special thought to hold on to, Jo. Thanks for sharing it here. x

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  6. Oh she looks as though she is happy to be cleaned and oiled. I am sure you will be spinning some lovely wool on her soon.

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  7. She is beautiful. I had to leave my Ashford Traditional wheel overseas with the promise to myself that I would buy another but I'm still waiting to find one.

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    1. Ooh, frustrating, Chez! Hope you find one soon. :)

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  8. It looks like she's come to a good home where she can be brought back to life! enjoy

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  9. Thankyou all for your kind words..she is proving to be a most valuable addition to the household! :)

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  10. Oh Christine, she looks lovely. I am in the process of buying a wheel. I don't know anything about it and the lady selling it is doing it for a friend who is away on holiday. I have made an offer on it and am waiting to see if the lady can find me out some details about the make and age. I am excited, I don't have a clue how to spin or where I will get fleece, but, I know where I will come for inspiration. Straight here.

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  11. Ahh Deb, this is SO exciting!! I hope the purchase goes well for you..please post a pic of your new wheel when the time comes! If you can find a local spinning group through your neighbourhood house or community centre you'll learn vast amounts - they are so generous in their knowledge! Plus there is always youtube for late night sessions. ;)

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    1. I have seen another wheel in a lady's carport. I figure if I can get up the nerve without coming across as a crazy stalker, I might just go and ask her about it. Maybe she will be willing to teach me. If not your neighbourhood centre idea could be a good one. I have a friend who works at the local one, so, I might go there and ask. I am not sure if there is a local spinning group, I might put a small ad in the local paper or ask on facebook. And yeah, there is always youtube. I am so excited.

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    2. Glad to read of your great buy. I have a Tarra upright, but without the spindle holders on the back. I live near Tarra Valley which is near Yarram were they were made. I belong to a local spinning group, Latrobe Valley Spinners & Weavers and we meet weekly at our local Neighbourhood House. I also have an Ashford Traditional which was cumbersome to taking along to classes. There are always plenty of wheels of all types available if you look around especially ebay although most are pickup only. When I wanted to purchase one, couldn't find one for sale although many ladies I knew had one and no longer used it. Wouldnt lend or sell their wheel. Now years later they are asking me if I could find a buyer for their wheels...!

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  12. Like you I'm a Sheridan owner - both a Celtic and more recently the upright
    Matilda which I just love, but after the Wool & Sheep I was asked if I'd be interested in a Tarra, and said yes. She was delivered today and you're right, so tiny. Looking forward to trying out that weighted wheel.

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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