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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Spinning at the Smithsonian

Last week we went into the city (DC) and went to the Museum of Natural History (Dinosaurs!) and the Museum of American History. Not too much fiber stuff going on at the Museum of Natural History, although there was a human skeleton wrestling with a goat skeleton (this museum is seriously into skeletons - great big dinosaur skeletons all the way to little bitty mice skeletons). The purpose of this display was to show that goats were the first domesticated farm animals (I think it was around 5ooo BC - sheep were domesticated around 3000 BC). I think it better depicted that goats didn't like to be messed with back then, and they are still causing problems today. Anyway, we went on to the museum of American History and there was the fiber jackpot!
An entire display - complete with really creepy mannequin person - of spinning! They show a Great Wheel, a Double Drive Saxony Wheel, Flax in various stages of preparation and wool in various stages of preparation. And look what I found, sitting in a basket of raw fleece, next to the niddy noddy......a drop spindle! I almost missed it, but I knew it had to be there so I kept looking. I realized though as I was taking pictures of this display, that there was something wrong with it. Can you figure out what's wrong here?
The wheel is facing the wrong direction for the chair! Not only can't the spinner reach the orifice to spin, but she can't even treadle with the way the chair is set up. I've got to find an email address for the museum and let them know about this one. I've got more pictures of Historical American Knitting, but I'll save those for another day.

By the way, due to the fact that I got 35 spam comments yesterday, I'm going to turn back on the word verification thingy on the comments. I hate that this sometimes keeps legitimate commenters from commenting (I love comments), but I don't care about lemon laws or online degrees. Hopefully, I can take the word verification thing off again after a little bit.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very funny because when I saw this section in the Smithsonian, I glossed right over it. It was too similar to the display at the Ft. Worth Museum of National History...I have new insight into it, though! M

10:06 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Melanie! Please don't miss posting any more days. Your BLOG is the only one I read daily that updates daily. I miss you when you're not here.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Aurora said...

Hi Melanie! I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for the tips on the buttons. I am too stoopid to get it however. I may be emailing you soon.
You obviously are a very cultured gal. I like seeing all your pictures and reading your insights. Thanks for reading my blog too!

Love, Aurora

1:38 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Melanie, I've been reading your blog for a while now and I love it. You're so talented! Have you considered joining Stephanie's Olympic Knitting Contest? http://yarnharlot.ca/blog/olympics2006.html I thought it would go along with you trying to decide what to knit during the olympics.
:)
-Karen

4:19 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

Way cool... that is on my list of must see. I would send them an email. This is a must -- one of the best and they goof this up... what's next?

11:22 PM  
Blogger Blue Gal said...

Don't bother turning off comment verification. We're all used to it and it's way better than scrolling through spam.

Keep up the good knitting and blogging.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melanie,

I miss living close enough to DC to be able to go to the Smithsonian.

I love the picture of the spinning exhibit. I have an antique great wheel that needs parts, and my DM just gaave me a flax wheel that looks Exactly like this one, with a smaller amount of flax on the distaff. Even my DH recognised what they were in the picture, "There is our great wheel, and there is the other one." he commented, pointing to the appropriate wheels.

Marsha

7:39 PM  

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