Spinning in public

The outdoor museum and crafts centre Stundars, where I spin in public a few times every year, opened a couple of weeks ago. I love spinning in the old farm house, one of the almost 70 buildings on the grounds.


About 1500 school children, refugees, and senior citizens visited us during the three days the museum was open for groups in May. In June it’s open every day.

This visitor wasn’t afraid to sit down by my wheel! She hadn’t spun for a long time, but proved what all spinners know: once you’ve learned to spin, you know how to do it.


A distaff for flax strick I found in one of the rooms. Wish I had one of those!thumb_P1000402_1024

A small wooden box that must’ve been even more beautiful when new. The yellowish strips are straw. Straw seems to have been used for decoration in most parts of the world. Behind the box is a Bible, a book that could be found in every home.



My two fellow crafters, the two bobbin lace ladies Ulrike and Vuokko, trying to warm themselves on the first day when the house was still cold and a bit damp after the winter. I was warm and happy, sitting by the fire. The spinning traditionally took place next to the fire, because here in Ostrobothnia the wool was seldom scoured. You needed to keep it warm for easier carding and spinning.


With so many buildings there’s always repairs to make.


There’s a whole small village behind the buildings in the photo: the “Grey Village”. Those who could afford it painted their houses red and white. In the Grey Village lived the poor: often crafters like blacksmiths, shoemakers, tailors, seamstresses, carpenters.

There’s always a few easy crafts for the children to try. Here’s the rope maker waiting for the children to arrive. The gate way through the barn is typical for bigger farm houses here. It’s big enough for a horse and carriage. You could shut the door when needed.


If shutting the gate door wasn’t shelter enough, you had your weapons close at hand in the farm house. The hunting weapon and the axes could be used also for defend.


The mace is made especially for defend. The grim looking collar is for protecting the dog against wolves.


There were good days, and there were bad days, as always. When I look at all the beautiful and clever things in our museums, I still have an impression that the good days were many. Maybe the mace was never used!


  1. Marilyn F.

    Thanks for sharing this interesting historical place and how lucky you are to demonstrate there. I love the red color on the buildings in the first picture – what a great red. That distaff is very beautiful. And all the old farm tools and defense weapons for humans and dog. That dog collar might be a little hard to actually put on the dog and keep the kiddies away from petting the critter, but maybe they were hunting dogs and not the family pet. So much to think about how they lived in times past. If only the walls could talk. But then maybe they do, as you are sitting and spinning by the fire as so many before you did? Any ghosts about? LOL

      • Marilyn F.

        Well, the hunting and guard dogs were probably a necessity in those days, much more so than pets. No ghosts yet? Just let us know if you run into any. LOL

  2. ElaineChicago.

    I could hang out in the cottage with the wheel and the blazing fire for a few days. Any idea what the flax holder is made of, hand carved? I’d like one of those just because!!

  3. Jody

    What an awesome place and your wheel is just the style I love! Wish I could sit and spin with you :-))

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