Last weekend my family visited Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan. I haven't been there since I was Brother Bear's age or maybe even younger. I remember pump organs and cars and I do remember purchasing a change holder for my Dad there and he used it for many years. I loved that he did that. I digress, here we are in 2010 visiting Greenfield Village and me not thinking I'd see much about Fiber Arts. Henry Ford is all about automobiles so if I found Fiber Arts, I thought I'd be lucky.
(Hey, AllyB, is this your wheel?)Well, as luck would have it, the tour of Greenfield Village became a scavenger hunt for me. Every building and house I walked through became a search for spinning wheels, looms, knitting, fiber...and boy, oh boy did I find all of the above plus so much more. I'm going to post a lot of photos so I apologize in advance if you have slow internet but I can't resist.
"When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization."
Daniel Webster, lawyer and politicianWe immediately started the tour to the left which means touring a farm. I saw these sheep that looked like Merino but didn't look like Merino. Why, oh why, didn't I bring my book, In Sheep's Clothing? So I asked one of the ladies who was dressed in period about the sheep. She said that they were Merino and this is how the Merino looked when they first came to the States and they bred the wrinkled neck out of them as electric shears started to be used.
Our next visit was...the Weaving Shop.
"Look, Mom, you have these at home."The woman who was working in the shop gave us a delightful and educational lesson on the loom and how it progressed from being used in a farmer's house to the improvements made to make weaving commercial.
Commercial LoomI want a loom! I want to weave! I fell in love with these gigantic machines.
These are two different looms showing the progress in technology.It's hard to believe that I am spinning and knitting just like women did a few hundred years ago. It gives me chills to think that these skills I enjoy and have learned for fun were necessities for woman back then.
This is the Jacquard Loom. It's technically the first computer. Jacquard created punch cards so that designs could be woven consistently and intricately. Oh, for complete details, Google it because my pretty little head (bahahaha) couldn't retain all of the amazing information I was learning.
I was amazed to find a few different commercial drum carders around the village. Now that I've visited a working mill, it's neat to see what was being used 200 years ago.
We also were shown how silk yarn is made. I would not have the patience to sick the fiber from the cocoon to get it going. Yeah, I'll pay the extra and just buy my silk roving but at least I know why it's more expensive.
If you look in the corner of the ceiling to the left you will see a Niddy Noddy. This cabin was not a slave cabin but it was owned by a poor person. Spinning Wheel, fireplace, a bed and cover from the weather...I could handle that. Ok, maybe if it was camping for a week.
Finally, the house where I found my Lady at the Wheel counterpart spinning her Flax. It was the topping on the cake, getting to see and ask questions. I posted the other day a picture of this woman and my antique photo.
I enjoyed seeing a Walking Wheel actually being used. Whenever I see them, they are typically decorative. By the way, the yarn that they created from the Merino raised on site was not fine like the Merino I am used to. I don't know if it's because they bred these Merino back to their former state or if it's from their feed but I didn't like it. Not that the product was bad but it wasn't what I like.
Now Grumpy and the Bears want sheep on the farm.I did find a few other Fiber Arts items too but I realized how long this post got to be. Yikes! As you can see, it was an enjoyable visit. Henry Ford was definitely an innovator. I learned that he appreciated all forms of advancement not just automobiles. If you ever get a chance to visit Greenfield Village, you should. We spent a good chunk of the day there so it was worth the drive. Now, what exciting adventures have you had in Fiber Arts this week?
Fiber Arts Friday Blog Carnival!
- Submit your blog article using your current blog address NOT your complete blog i.e. you would submit
- Link back to Fiber Arts Friday from your post so that your readers can come and see everyone else’s projects! Text link to WISDOM BEGINS IN WONDER! (That's my blog)
- Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what helps us all connect!