Norwegian households depended on their spinning wheels.
Sheep were grazed in the mountain
summers, and cheese was made from their milk. Their coats were combed and the
saved to spin into thread on the useful spinning machine. This was then wound onto cards
and saved for weaving into fabrics.
Several types of wood was used, sometimes mixing. Some
were more ornate than others,
depending on the craftsman who made them. Painted blue, red, or yellow, or in natural wood.
Women tried to bring their spinning wheels to America, if nothing else. Many Norwegian
spinning wheels have found their way here, and now sit proudly worn, in desendents homes,
a glorious tribute to the fortitude and courage of our Norwegian ancestors.
This 1906 stereoscope photo was to be viewed thru a
view finder for 3D affect. The Telemark
Norway kitchen features a large corner fireplace, cookstove and two spinning wheels, with drying rack hung overhead.
The second photo shows how to fill a spinning wheel
bobbin. Note the large chest, and the yarn holder.
Picture 3 a family loads their cart of belongs. They are leaving the Norwegian farm, for America 1888, Spinning wheel lower rt.
Lofthus, Norway - One lady spins the wool while the other combs 1888
"This picture hangs framed over my mother's spinning
wheel along with a set
of cards. Mom doesn't know who the people in the picture are but thinks
they are cousins from Lofthaug. My mothers spinning wheel is black and my
great-grandmother brought it from Norway when they came in 1871"". Wendy Turner
1890s beautiful example of heirloom still in use today courtesy of U.S. lister Norm.
Børge Bømark shows this family spinning wheel from 1941in Stavanger, Norway.
" In Norway we call it "rokk", and every grand-mother
in "the old country" knows the melody that goes with the words
"Det er rokken som spinner i stuen". It is the most precious heirloom in my cabin held in Norwegian "bonde-stil".
My mother-in-law had it made during WW 2 during the "long and dark 5 years of the German occupation" of Norwegian soil and when clothing was was hard to get in the countryside .My wife was a little girl, and my mother-in-law had to keep her and sisters warm for outside activities. So off into the shed of the holding to "strip" their score of sheep and to the brook to have it washed. The girls remember helping their mother, thus learning to handle the the cards nearly before the knife and fork. Their mother was left to operate the treadle and the rest of the "rokk", also of forming the hanks for dying the yarn that was designated to be coloured to make the proper pattern of Norwegian sweaters, "kuf-ter", caps, scarfs and mittens. Knitting needles, which actually are not often seen here today, had reme-dies for all parts of the body, and what prevented those parts from itching, were at times prewar "secrets" or remnants.
Hilsen Börge, Stavanger