We have a new addition to the fiber arts collection today!


This gorgeous wheel is a Kromski Polonaise, which is, according to some historian, the closest thing we’ve got to the old old old-fashioned spinning wheels. It’s amazing, on the level of hand-carved wooden screws amazing.

We’ve named her Sophia to reflect her Polish heritage. She was given to us by an online friend who wanted to pass her wheel on to a family where girlies might get a kick from having a Sleeping Beauty style wheel. I’m still amazed at her generosity. This wheel is a treasure!

She sent it in pieces so it would fit in the box, and let me tell you, there were a LOT of pieces!  I went upstairs to the computer to find and print assembly directions. The boys saw the instructions before I got back downstairs and promptly began assembling Sophia. They did a fantastic job!

We had to do a little more internet research into how to get the double drive band on properly, but I think they’ve earned some sort of credit in historical engineering to have done this so well. I took her on a test drive after all was put together, and she is so smooth and quiet. I look forward to spending time with her.

I tried to get a photo showing some of the detailed turning of the pieces:

I’m learning a lot of vocabulary with this wheel, as it’s definitely a more complex set up than Bessie, my beloved Ashford Traveller who taught me how to spin.  The post just to the right of the wheel is one of two (the other one is hidden) and they’re called maidens.  There’s a very important anchoring piece that is hidden that has the best name: “mother of all.”

It will be so much fun to play with Sophia and see what her strengths and weaknesses are, and learn to use Bessie and Sophia to make the yarn I want from a particular fiber. I’m in awe of women who used wheels to spin the yarn to then weave and sew in order to clothe their families!


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