What Pamela and Sandi did
Thursday September 13th 2012, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Crohn's flare,Friends,Lupus,LYS,Wildlife

I missed it the last two weeks with that flare going on. I got my blood test results back yesterday–1.9 on the neutrophils is what it was like when I was on chemo for six and a half years, what’s up with that? Going and being in a crowd was just not the wisest thing to do; things are settling down and the bleeding seems to have stopped and the cardiac cough that was bugging me is almost gone too, so, why would I want to risk revving up my autoimmunity by being exposed to anything?

Because it was knit night. And I missed my friends. And Pamela’s moving away soon.

Coming onto the main drag on my way out, there it was. A Cooper’s hawk, quite possibly my male Cooper’s hawk. On the phone wires running just this side of the train tracks, looking down on the road I was on.

And at that moment I felt like everything would somehow be okay.

It was a very good evening to be at Purlescence. (Hey, and if you want a really good lace shawls book *cough* they’ve got it.) I was so caught up in the drama of go/not go that I’d utterly forgotten that Pamela and Sandi had been working on repairing my spinning wheels. Pamela had wanted to learn how for the sake of when she will be far from the expertise of the shop.

One turned out to be ready for me to take home.

Years ago I found a friend-of-a-four-times-removed friend who had bought an Ashford Traveler spinning wheel. Cute little thing. As far as I could piece together, she put the drive band on too tight and couldn’t get the darn thing to spin worth beans. (She also had her roving separated not in lengthwise strips but short fat wads.) Maybe someone told her she couldn’t get a high enough ratio on so small a wheel to make those linen curtains she was dreaming of spinning and weaving?

So. She bought a second wheel, an Ashford Traditional. Uses the same bobbins. Got a distaff for the flax.

They sat in her garage for years till the day we found each other. She sold me everything: her wheels, a goodly stack of books, all her fiber, getitouttahere, $150.

Eighteen years later, my Trad has had a hard life. One kid tried to balance her Welch’s grape juice on it andร‚ย  stained it a permanent purple puddle; another kid tripped over it and his teenage foot smashed the flyer. That was after the wheel had fallen out of the car and smashed the original flyer and maiden. I bought new parts, again, but after the second blow it was wobbly and a pain to to use–the uprights had a tendency to wiggle apart as I spun and the flyer would simply fall out.

The Trav fared a little better but it was always stiff and arthritic, whatever the drive band. If you pumped the treadle just as hard as you could and then let go, it would turn maybe seven cycles before stopping. I read an article in Spinoff years ago that said it should be closer to 100. As if!

And now the Trav is glorious. It’s scrubbed, repaired, lovely, it works and looks fabulous. They’re not quite done with the Trad, but give them a few days. (Don’t worry about that purple, guys, it’s part of its charm now.)

I can spin again. Do you hear me, life? I can spin my own yarn on my own working wheel again! Thank you Pamela and Sandi!


10 Comments so far
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Hooray for working spinning wheels! Glad you made it to the shop and it was a healthy space for you – in more ways than one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 09.14.12 @ 6:42 am

Spinning. Ah. A love/hate relationship. Maybe someday. Probably not. Why not adopt all those orphan skeins of yarn out there that need a good home? ๐Ÿ™‚

Comment by Afton 09.14.12 @ 6:47 am

I want to say “You silly girl” going out in public just as you’re being to improve, but the lure of friends and spinning makes it understandable. I don’t make very good handspun but I had so much fun spinning a skein of merino and then dyeing it just this past month, that I know you’ll enjoy resuming your own fiber therapy.

Comment by LynnM 09.14.12 @ 7:27 am

I hope Life is taking notes. lol

I like the “fiber therapy” LynnM mentions. Ask your doctor if he/she can prescribe that for you, you know? Just so to make official and then you HAVE to respect the doctor’s orders. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hang in there: sending prayers your way!

Comment by Suzanne from Montreal 09.14.12 @ 7:37 am

yippee! just keep spinnin’ spinnin’ — I too have a traditional wheel, and despite good intentions, I’ve not gotten much spinning done of late — wish I could expand the number of hours in the day!

Comment by Bev 09.14.12 @ 9:09 am

Lovely!!!
I am thinking about getting an electric spinner.
Sitting upright and using a foot pedal don’t mesh well with my reality :-}

Comment by Diana Troldahl 09.14.12 @ 9:18 am

What a wonderful gift from dear friends. Spin and enjoy. And maybe I will too tonight, for the first time in too long.

Comment by Channon 09.14.12 @ 9:19 am

Here’s hoping that blood reading is just the low, and is climbing steadily back where it should be. I agree that friends and fiber do a world of good, and I know Purlescence friends take especially good care of you. Your hawk sighting just seems like the universe agreeing, all will be well. Take care and have fun spinning.

Comment by DebbieR 09.14.12 @ 9:55 am

Hooray for great friends and for spinning wheels.

I haven’t been cooking at all lately, but last night I made cornbread. It felt just a tiny bit like that… I can cook. It would have felt more like that if the cornbread had been as good as I’d been imagining it would be. Since it wasn’t, though, I’ll just have to make a batch that is as good.

Comment by RobinM 09.14.12 @ 10:53 am

Oh, I am happy to have you as a spinning buddy! So often as I’ve spun I’ve thought of you mentioning that you used to and wished you still did. I can’t wait to see what you spin.

Comment by twinsetellen 09.14.12 @ 9:05 pm



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