Meet Matilda. She’s my new toy.

Matilda was born in the early 1970s, in New Zealand. She’s a Thumbelina spinning wheel and is a little on the antique side. Which is to say that some minor carpentry and engineering skills were required to get her up and running, but running she is. She’s a double drive spinning wheel, which means that the drive band goes around both the whorl and the bobbin. She’s a brilliant little machine and I love her, even if I’m not very good at her yet. (Note unevenness of the spinning in the picture). I haven’t quite figured out where to get a third bobbin, but I now own excitingly named items like a lazy kate and a niddy noddy and a mother-of-all. (Okay, the last is a cheat – that’s on Matilda.)

I picked up Spin, Dye, Stitch by Jennifer Claydon, which I recommend. It’s a good starter manual for people who have no idea what they’re doing (hint: me), but it may lead to a desire to learn how to dye. The pictures in the back are very inspiring.

Also, proof that all things yarn lead to cats, even taking pictures of yarn making things.


  • PogKnits

    I’ve recently aquired a Thumbelina too and have been busy web-browsing to see if mine is unique in the way the foot pedal is attached to the legs. Several resources have suggested hooks and eyes are original to the Thumbelina’s, but mine has leather and screws. I can’t tell from your photos, what does yours have?

  • Charlotte Oliver

    Mine has hooks and eyes, but they were made over a period of time. Potentially they weren’t all made in the same style?

  • Terry Strimpel

    I’m hoping to purchase a thumbelina spinning wheel. Does anyone have the measurements??I need them for shipping.

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