I’m going to interrupt my dyeing adventures with what started it all.
13 years ago I walk into a large hall looking for like minded people, people with glue guns, but instead of glue guns I found two groups of ladies. We have just moved to a new town and the Welcome Wagon Lady left me a pamphlet with a list of things happening about town and that led me to the large hall I found myself in. As I enter ten ladies sitting around a quilt, they barely look up, too intent on their stitching, their focus is on the quilt. It doesn’t mater I know I don’t want to join them, my Mom and Dad had quilted and it was way to structured for me. But then I look at the far end of the hall, 6 ladies sitting in a circle laughing their heads off and what are they doing? Well,who would have thought; they all have Spinning Wheels and they are making yarn?
About a year after I was married I inherited my Great Grandmothers Spinning wheel, bought out of the first issue of the Eatons Catalogue.
Up until that day this wheel never had a drive band and I had never seen a spinning wheel in use. My children grew up playing with this strange thing. It was a favourite toy for a 2-3 year old.
I found myself in that group of ladies so excited I just knew something wonderful was going to happen in my life. I was welcomed in and encouraged to come back in 2 weeks with my wheel, at this point they only met every other week. Two weeks later I walked in with my antique wheel and left with one of their rental wheels, an Ashford Traditional Wheel but not before my mentor Doris has me unplying and plying a ball of commercially spun yarn. Up until now Fred had said I couldn’t chew gum and walk at the same time and now I could treadle a spinning wheel and manipulate yarn with my hands. That first year Doris not only supplied me with instruction, fibre to spin but lent me the money to buy a used wheel. A beautiful Ashford Traditional wheel, I later added the double treadle kit. This picture is not of my actual wheel for I find myself with out one, so I snagged it off the internet.
Five years later I sold this wheel and bought my dream wheel a used Louet S90, there is nothing this wheel can not do, it fold for ease of transport, it is so well balanced it stand on it’s own when closed for transport.
To me this is the most aesthetically pleasing wheel, the simplicity of design and the completeness of it make it such a dream to own.
This wheel is so complete, it has a tensioned kate but it also has a skein winder and as you saw in the first photo it all folds up to a compact 6 inches. As much as I loved this wheel I did try to sell it, 5 yes 5 times and each time I unlisted it for say withing 24 hours. This wheel is MY wheel and it will always be. But onward and upward I found myself the proud owner of a James Watson Handmade Victoria Wheel. Once again I don’t have a picture of the wheel so I snagged one off of the internet. Unlike the one in this picture mine was made out of a dark an luscious walnut. It is a large production wheel.
A friend now owns my Victoria and one day I may get to take a picture of her and replace this one with the real thing. You can find James and all his wheels here http://www.watsonwheels.com/
A few more years go by and I find that I can no longer spin pain free on a production wheel so once again I sell my wheel and buy a new one. This New wheel is a Little Gem by Majacraft. With this wheel I could do all the spinning I wanted without and pain and then I did a very foolish thing and injured my shoulders so badly that I had to give up all of my fibre activities. As luck would have it I found Lampworking which didn’t hurt my body any way shape or form. So I sold my Little Gem and bought a kiln and hot head torch. Four more years go by and my shoulders are up to spinning so out comes my trusty Louet S90 and they dye pots and dye and away I go. As much as I love my Louet it does cause my body stress when used for long periods of time so I am now the proud owner of a New Little Gem and here she is. This is what you would see if you sat across from me at Thursday Spinning.
So there you have it. The 3 wheels that live with me and the ones that got away.