Category Archives: Mythology and Stories

Mythology and short stories about weavers, and handspinners.

HTTPS Secure Server Migration

In this age of cyber hacking and concerns about security, I have decided to move all of this website to a secure server – Https not http. Although no personal financial information is collected at this site and I provide information only, you can’t be too careful. This has been done now. You will see that the top address bar now takes you to

However, there is still much work to be done at my end, to convert all of the pages to the https SSL protocol. This involves mostly changing all of the images and links within the site, so they don’t still pass information from the older http site. While this migration is taking place, you may still see some warning signals on your browser. Please don’t be alarmed by this, as it will take me several weeks to find and replace the offending links on several hundred pages.

I have had to remove the link to the old Delphi Forum, as this was an unsecure link.
Some of my older content will have to be removed as some pages may be too difficult to update.

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Paivatar: blpaivatar

Paivatar – Finland – Goddess of Spinning, Weaving and the Sun


She was called ‘competent maid’ or ‘resplendent of the shaft-bow of the sky.’ The
spinning sun virgin who wove daylight from a rainbow arch.

batten, a heddle and a golden shuttle are her symbols. Spinning and weaving were
predominant activities, as every garment was spun by hand. Imagine how many hours it
took to spin enough thread to string a loom to weave a sail for an oceangoing boat!


Chapter 41

Tuo Kuutar, korea impi, neiti Päivätär pätevä

pitelivät pirtojansa, niisiänsä nostelivat,

kultakangasta kutoivat, hope’ista helskyttivät,

äärellä punaisen pilven, pitkän kaaren kannikalla.

Kunpa saivat kuullaksensa tuon sorean soiton äänen,

jo pääsi piosta pirta, suistui sukkula käestä,

katkesihe kultarihmat, helkähti hopeaniiet.

The worthy maid Paivatar
were holding their reeds

raising their heddles

weaving golden stuff

and jingling silver

on the rim of the red cloud

upon the long rainbow’s end;

when they got to hear

the sound of that fine music

the reed slipped out of their grasp

the shuttle dropped from their hand

the golden threads snapped

and the silver heddles clinked.

Translated by Keith Bosley

The Kalevala, Ch. 41

Oxford University Press, 1989

Open the best chest

slam the bright lid back:

inside are six golden belts

and seven blue skirts

all woven by Moon-daughter

finished off by Paivatar (Sun-daughter).

‘Long since, when I was a maid

and lived as a lass, I went

for berries in the forest

raspberries under the slope.

I heard Moon-daughter weaving

Paivatar (Sun-daughter) spinning

beside blue backwoods

at the edge of a sweet grove.

Translated by Keith Bosley

The Kalevala, Ch. 4

Oxford University Press, 1989



More passages from the Finnish epic, Kalevala.

Weaving / Spinning Goddesses


Kalevala Books

The Kalevala: Or Poems of the Kaleva District
Kalevala translation by Professor Francis Peabody Magoun

The Key to the Kalevala
UK:Key to the Kalevala

The Songs of Power: A Finnish Tale of Magic, Retold from the Kalevala (Ancient Fantasy)
For ages 10 and up: songs of the many adventures of favorite heroes: the mighty, magical men and women of ancient days.
UK:Songs of Power

Women of the Kalevala
Voices of the women of the Kalevala clamor to be heard. Wives, sisters, and daughters have their own stories, often more poignant than those of the men.

Silk: blhsilingsu

Origin of Silk
“Chinese legend gives the title Goddess of Silk to Lady Hsi-Ling-Shih, wife of the mythical Yellow Emperor, who was said to have ruled China in about 3000 BC. She is credited with the introduction of silkworm rearing and the invention of the loom”

The emperor Huang-Ti ordered his wife Hsi-Ling-Shi to investigate what was eating the leaves on his mulberry trees. She found white worms that spin shiny cocoons. According to the story, she accidentally dropped one of these cocoons into her hot tea and a delicate filament separated itself. She drew it out, unwinding a long single strand. Hsi-Ling-Shi had discovered silk.


Silk Roving


Ebay Finds

Extremely Soft Natural White Cultivated Silk Roving Top, 50 Grams, Mulberry - Current price: $7.95

Mirasol Sulka Yarn Taupe Brown Tan Merino Alpaca Silk Single Ply Roving Yarn - Current price: $8.00

- Current price: $18.00

KFI Luxury Yarn 2 sks Merino, Kid Mohair, Mulberry Silk Col 2 green,sal Hand Dye - Current price: $46.55

KFI Luxury Yarn 2 sks Merino, Kid Mohair, Mulberry Silk Col 5 blue, ora Hand Dye - Current price: $46.55

Weaving Stories

Blonde and the Cute Sheep
A humorous sheep joke, submitted by one of our members.

Fairy Tales
Fairy tales often feature weavers and spinners with powers of wisdom and ingenuity.

Ancient mythological tales about weaving and spinning.

To Suzanne
A beautiful weaver’s poem written by a dear friend of mine.

Drug Glooms
A humorous tale by Peter Collingwood, who was inspired to write this having seen a loom advertised “complete with shuffles”.

The Flax
There are some delightful stories about weaving at this site, including one about the lowly flax plant.

No Ordinary Blanket
A touching story about how a blanket can become part of our lives.

Weaving Words for the Web-Weary
Peter Collingwood travels to Sweden and tells of his visit to a belting factory.

Spinning Wheels – EBay Watch


Ebay Finds

Louet S40 Hatbox Spinning Wheel - Current price: $375.00 - Auction

- Current price: $639.00

Antique Vintage Treadle Spinning Wheel Flyer Project - Current price: $125.00

Kromski Fantasia Unfinished Free Shipping Special Bonus - Current price: $499.00

Kromski Polonaise Unfinished Spinning Wheel FREE Ship Special Bonus - Current price: $839.00

Kromski Symphony Unfinished Spinning Wheel FREE Shipping Special Bonus - Current price: $759.00

Weaving Mythology

Fairy Tales
In fairy tales, spinners and weavers often display qualities of power, wisdom and magic.

The Finnish epic poem, the Kalevala, has many references to the weaving and spinning goddesses. Here are some passages from this famous folklore.

Spinning and Weaving Goddesses
The arts of spinning and weaving have magical properties to the uninitiated. Spinners and weavers have been revered throughout the ages, in many cultures.

Spinning and Weaving Stories
Modern-day stories and poetry about weaving and spinning.

To Suzanne
A beautiful weaver’s poem.

Arachne was gifted in the art of weaving, but her tapestry offended Athena. This led to tragic consequences.

Neith – “One Who Is”
Neith is one of the oldest Egypptian goddesses. She was both a goddess of war and a goddess of weaving.

Orihime, Kengyuu and Tanabata
The star Vega is often called Orihime Boshi(Weaving Princess Star). When Vega is prominent in the night sky, the Tanabata festival celebrates improvement of technical skills and ability.

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Pop Goes the Weasel: blpopweasel

A reader asked this question:
Pop Goes the Weasel – Is this a Spinning song?

I hadn’t heard of this before so I did a bit of research. Here are some references to more information about this song.

All around the mulberry bush

The monkey chased the weasel.

The monkey thought ’twas all in fun.

Pop! goes the weasel.A penney for a spool of thread,

A penney for a needle.

That’s the way the money goes.

Pop! goes the weasel.

Up and down the City Road,

In and out of the Eagle,

That’s the way the money goes.

Pop! goes the weasel.

Half a pound of tuppenney rice,

Half a pound of treacle,

Mix it up and make it nice,

Pop! goes the weasel.

This site has 3 other versions of this nursery rhyme listed.
Bulletin Board Post
“A weassel was an iron used by London tailors, who popped their weassel when they were short of money.” Bob, Aug. 26/2000
Bulletin Board Post
In another post by Franbo, Aug. 26

The rhyme was started by hatmakers who pawned their hatmaking tool in order to get some money
World Wide Words

In this article about Pop Goes the Weasel, the phrase comes from an advertisement by Boosey and Sons of 1854, where a new country dance is introduced by her Majesty Queen Victoria.

Additional words were added to the song.

Queen Victoria’s very sick,

Prince Albert’s got the measles.

The children have the whooping cough,

And pop! Goes the weasel

There is a wide variety of opinion on this song. Here are some more posts from our Discussion Forum. If you know more about this song, please let us know by posting a note in our Forum.

Is this a Spinning Song? – Forum Discussion

“I learned a couple years ago that the floor standing skeiners that have a screw on the inside and a piece of wood attached are called “weasels.” After so many turns of the skeiner, the screw will have pushed the slat of wood far enough for it to pop out and make that popping sound that let you know you had wound ‘X’ number of yards. I don’t know why it was called a weasel, though.”

Original post by Berna

Firstly, the Eagle Pub still exists in The City Road in London. I’m English, and sometimes have to visit that part of London, and go past it when I do. 

Secondly, I’d always been told that a weasel was a special type of small flat iron used in the manufatcuring of top hats. (You might call them opera hats in the states) Whistle and Flute is indeed rhyming slang for suit, and both best clothes and tools of the trade were pawned ( or popped) for extra cash, so it could be either. But I’ve never heard of a weasel being anything to do with spinning equipment.

Thirdly, there is another pub just up the City Road from the Eagel called ” The Stick and Weasel”, which refers to another line in the version of the rhyme I know ‘Every time that I go out, The weasel’s on the tabel, Take an stick and knock it off, Pop goes the Weasel” . I think the pub name came after the song, but it’s there now!!

Finally, if Susan is interested, her college linbrary probaly has books with copies of the works of George Cruikshank – a victorain artsist much loved by the temperence movement who showed the awful results of drink in pictures and cartoons, and so these might be useful period ilustrations for her talk, showing what happened of you popped your weasel and went into the Eagel too often!!

Hope this helps Susan – its nice to know that our quaint British traditions are studied in colleges in the states, and i hope her project goes well.”

Original Post by Susanne

The song Pop goes the Weasel derives from the counter at the back of the yarn reel or clock reel or wool reel depending on where you are from. These reels all have a 2 yard circumference and are designed to measure wool knots. These are 80 yards or 40 turns. By the way there are 7 knots in a skein, or 560 yards. Measure what we call a skein of knitting worsted today and chances are it is still very close!! 

These measurements derive from England and we have all recognized that English units of measurement are a little bit strange. I have even heard that there was someone in the 17th century who was appointed to check and make sure that reels were exactly 2 yards in circumference so that no one was cheated.

The song was developed as I understand it to keep children amused while they were reeling yarn off the bobbins and ont the reel. According to an elderly English lady that I met several years ago there may be 40 verses to the song–which would make sense. (That may be the only logical thing about all of this)

As another aside on this subject; A reel measuring 1 and 1/2 yards was for measuring linen or flaz which is measured in leas. They are a whole other story!!

Original Post by B. Flexner

My weasel is hand carved oak. The screws inside the clock box show the knife marks. The skeining wheel is 90 inches in circumfrence and goes click on every revolution and on the 120th rev., goes pop. On the screw that extends even with the front of the box there is a right angle bent nail that shows where the start is, and points to 900. As this screw turns the nail shows where you have gotten to. No, there is only the start mark, not quarters or half. 

On singles i can get 120+ revolutions with fine wool and fine spin. I bought this weasel last summer in Lincoln, NM from a lady who was selling a lot of her family antiques. It is a treasure. The grandson likes to turn it and count the clicks. He will start to kindergarden in 2 years and can count now to 120 so he can hear the pop.

Would like to have all the verses to the song. Am sure too that it refers to a lot of things medieval English.

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Ashford Kiwi-2 Spinning Wheel / Unfinished

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LOUET SPINNING WHEEL - S10 SINGLE TREADLE w/ 3 Spindles & Ashford Niddy Noddy

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