Pirates of the Treadle Earn New Wheels

In an earlier blog post, you may have read about the formation of the youth team, Pirates of the Treadle, from Conner Prairie Pioneer Village in Noblesville, Indiana.  The team competes in the Indiana State Fair Sheep to Shawl event. Over the past seven years, this group of teenagers has trained and recruited enough members to create four teams to compete under the volunteer guidance of Sue Payne. She insists, however, that it is through the kids' own efforts to teach each other how to spin and weave that the program has become a success. When Sue is talking to visiting families and groups in the Loom House, she tells a brief history about the youth spinners and says, "Isn't it wonderful to have a true story with a moral about goals, leadership, and hard work to share with other young visitors?" One of the youngest Pirates, Luke, begged his mother for a spinning wheel, pressing his nose against the window of the Tabby Tree Weaver shop in Arcadia every time he walked by to make sure his wheel was still there.  (Luke did eventually get the wheel he dreamed of.)  A large anonymous donation to the Textile Department enabled Sue to buy a new fleet of spinning wheels to replace those used wheels on which the kids learn to spin. She weeded out seven that needed good homes to replace their nomadic life and uneven wear and tear from use by multiple hands and feet. The youth were invited to each claim one, and there were six immediate responses, the seventh sold soon after. The old wheels were sold for bargain prices to become Christmas presents, and the money was deposited directly into the Youth Spinning program account.

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