Historical information

This spinning wheel originates from New Zealand; however, it has no distinguishing features relating to its creator such as an inscription, so its exact maker is not known. Gill Stange remembers buying the wheel on Bridge Road in Richmond, approximately 30 years ago.
Gill had joined her local Spinners and Weavers Guild after the Ash Wednesday bushfires of 1983. She was a then resident of Mount Macedon and lost everything in the fires. Moving to Melbourne to get away from the scene of much pain, Gill was also in need of a new hobby to help occupy her mind. That is when spinning and weaving entered her life. The local Spinners and Weavers Guild was a great support network for her and with their recommendation, she purchased her own spinning wheel.
Her passion was started, and the wheel was to become a treasured item in Gill’s home. She had several spinning wheels within her possession over the years, however, this wheel was her first and always her favourite. When the time came for Gill to downsize, there was simply no longer room for her spinning wheel. This is when she decided to donate the wheel to the National Wool Museum.
Gill remembers one highlight was weaving a tablecloth from a traditional German design. It took her two years to complete, with Gill spinning all the wool herself on this wheel. The tablecloth won the first prize in the Melbourne Show in 1987. Gill also used the wheel to teach programs to school children on how to spin and knit wool. She would take the easily transported little wheel, and its accompanying seat, with her to schools. Its small size enabled her to teach children to knit and spin, bringing others the joy that spinning had brought her. Not just limited to schools, Gill also taught programs with the wheel here at the National Wool Museum. It is a fitting home for the wheel, which Gill donated to the National Wool Museum in 2021.

Physical description

Dark varnished wood in a Castle style spinning wheel. The wheel has 8 small spokes which meet a thick outside rim. The outside rim has four golden disc weights on the bottom edge, to aid in the turning of the wheel. The spinning wheel has four legs of turned wood giving a sculptural form, a design pattern which is continued throughout. The wheel has a single medium sized foot pedal. This pedal is well worn with varnish missing from years of use. The wheel is completed with its accompanying chair. Made of the same dark varnished wood, its legs are also of turned wood, continuing the design pattern and uniting the two objects. The chair is very simple outside of the legs, with a medium size base and a thin backrest ending in a rounded head. The chair’s varnish is also starting to fade from years of use. The chair is small, designed to keep the spinning wheel operator at the appropriate height when spinning on the equally small and compact Castle style spinning wheel.
Additional parts were donated with the Spinning Wheel.
- 3 x Lazy Kates
- Spare Maiden.
- 450mm Niddy Noddy
- Steel teeth brush