We walked by the mounds of junk looking for treasure. Cups of coffee in our hands, my husband and I looked among the stacks of items in the tents. Broken tools, old dishes, and VHS tapes crowded overpriced lanterns and cast iron. Then I saw it. I have never seen one before but I knew it instantly. I looked sheepishly at the price then let my jaw fall slack. I picked it up in case anyone else recognized it. Of course, it was twenty dollars because no one knew what it was! A Yarn Weasel. From the 1700’s.
One could take their freshly spun yarn and spin it directly onto the yarn weasel from the spinning wheel then pull it off the side, twist, and make a perfectly lovely skein of yarn. Or spin it onto the weasel and knit from it.
I tied the end of the skein of yarn to one dowel and spun the contraption to unravel the yarn. It was easier and much faster than carefully winding a skein into a ball for crocheting. Once it was on the wheel, I began crocheting a blanket for my granddaughter who is expected to be born next month. Without stopping to untangle or rewind balls of yarn that have toppled off of my lap, I whipped through the skein quickly and was onto the next.
The wood is very dry so now that I am done with the afghan for Miss Ayla Mae, I will oil the wooden relic with walnut oil to seal the wood so that it won’t crack and will give it a beautiful color.
Yarn weasels can be found for well over a hundred dollars on Ebay, but look for a good deal online or at flea markets. A lot of folks don’t know what to do with them, or wouldn’t use them anyway and you may be able to get one for a song. This yarn weasel does look ever lovely next to the wood stove in our little, old fashioned home on our little, old fashioned homestead.
4 Comments Add yours
I would not have known what it was!
I am not totally sure how I knew! Must have seen it in old books or something!
I have not seen one in a very long time. There is one at my Pa’s home. It came from his father in-law’s home. It is quite rickety. It really belongs in a museum, and could end up there someday.
You don’t see them too often! That is great that you all have a family heirloom.