Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spinning Yarn

Assume that you live in the 19th Century and are spending your day spinning yarn.

You have already washed the loose wool several times and carded and combed it. You spin the wool into yarn from daylight until dusk and neglect your usual activities such as cooking meals, tending children, working the garden, milking the cow, chopping wood and hauling water.

How many days would it take to spin enough yarn to make one pair of men's socks?

(The answer is approximately three days...more info in the comments section.)


Olivier said...

superbe cette photo, qui nous fait retourner dans le passé.

this beautiful photo, which makes us return to the past.

Pernille's ting og tang said...

I really would love to live in the 19th century:) But then I had to be rich;) Beautiful shot. I love it!

My dog is not a Jack Russel or a Terrier. It's a Danish/Swedish Farmdog. It's very similar to Jack Russel. Danish/swedish Farmdogs are very nice and kind dog. They love to be with their people more than other dogs. There are a few Danish/Swedish Farmdogs in USA.

Have a nice evening:)

Anonymous said...

Nice looking lady spinning. I have no idea how long it would take but a lot longer than most people think. I am sure of that. Everything took longer in those days. Weeks or more were spent getting the wool to this stage.

Ann (MobayDP) said...

I have no idea how many days that would take :)

I looooove these shots.

ft. lauderdale daily photo said...

Wonderful photo. Your caption makes me tired just thinking about it. I would have been hopeless living back then--or at least sockless!

crittoria said...

What a great portrait!

Halcyon said...

Assuming that the man wore size 13 shoes, I would say two weeks.

But I really have no idea.

Kitty said...

I love how white the whites are in this photo.
Great detail!

Tanya said...

I love your stories with the photos. I wonder why I long to be from that time period, things were so hard, but so simple at the same time. Good thing they didn't have internet to distract them from all their responsibilities,lol...
On a field trip recently with my son's 5th grade class, we went to an old, local homestead where they gave us the answer to your question, and I remember being shocked at how long it took, but can't remember,lol.

Josy said...

Somewhere between one day and 8 weeks! Am I right?

Okay, my official guess is 6 days.

Rambling Round said...

Josy, you are correct that it takes between one day and eight weeks! Just trim that down to three days!

This lady said that if she spun yarn everyday from daylight til dark, she would have enough yarn for one pair of socks sometime on the third day.
That doesn't include making the socks, which would take about three more days. Back then, if you wore a hole in your socks, you couldn't just go out and buy another pair, so you had to sew the hole up.
Many Civil War women spent much of the war making socks for the soldiers.
Thanks for all your comments!

Nathalie said...

Your whole series on the battle of Selma reenactment is absolutely fantastic. Your portraits are excellent and you really get to feel the spirit of things.

My favourite was the plump lady in the southern belle shot. Her happy face is just fabulous.