The innovation, evolution, and adaptation of the Salish spinner

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Hammond-Kaarremaa, Liz
One of my favorite spinning wheels is a bit of an ugly duckling—it looks a little strange as if it is missing parts: it’s a bobbin and flyer without the wheel, a head without a body—yet when properly assembled on top of an old treadle sewing machine it transforms into a swan complete with a heartbeat and the treadle beats in time with mine. It relaxes and calms me in a meditative way. It is known by different names: originally the “Indian Head”, the “Cowichan” and now, the “Salish” spinner. Why is the Salish spinner so useful? To understand that, you need to know a little about the Coast Salish and their traditional textiles and yarns.
This is the author's version of an article that was published in the Fall 2022 issue of Spin Off.
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