Saturday September 30th 2023, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life,Spinning

I had this old Ashford Traditional spinning wheel that I’d bought used 30 years ago.

My tall older son in his teens walked across the family room in the dark because he didn’t want to turn on the light that would shine in his sister’s room and wake her up–and tripped over the wheel, his size 13 shoe breaking the maiden (the assembly above the wheel itself) and his tumbling leaving the rest slightly off kilter.

He said he was okay. I said that’s what matters.

I had been using that wheel for Colonial Days history demos at the elementary schools’ fifth grade classrooms and it was known around campus, and so another parent, an acquaintance but trying to help, heard about it and offered to repair it. He unscrewed the maiden (that phrase took a turn later) from the body of the wheel and he took it home and it took me several years to find out that the reason he didn’t just give it back when I finally asked was that it was lost in his garage somewhere. I was later told that that was not the only mistake he was making; I can just picture his ex discovering a what-the-hell in a box somewhere and pitching it.

Meantime, I’d spent the painful $125 that it cost at the time–more than half of an entire new wheel with bobbins, second guessing myself all the way but an extra hundred bucks is a hundred bucks–and bought a new maiden.

And a dear friend’s husband offered to assemble it onto my wheel for me. She’s a knitter and spinner and he got how passionate we are about what we do; he wanted so much to help.

He didn’t know that the uprights are not supposed to move. He set it up so that you twist one to help release the flyer. It’s damaged the wood, and the flyer tends to shake until it frees itself of the drive band and projectile vomits itself across the room.

Which is why you haven’t read much about the spin part of the spin dye knit thing here in a very long time.

Nor have I mentioned any of this to anybody in a very long time.

My friends Sand and Kaye, who were the owners of the much-missed Purlescence yarn/weaving/spinning store that closed about a dozen years ago, have been selling some of their old wheels of late. They are clearing out space–but also because of a serious injury. Sand is finding new channels for her creativity because she has to.

She reached out to me a few days ago. There was this beautiful Kiwi wheel they’d painted. It’s not finished. Finishing it now would be…problematic. Would I like it? She could throw in a Super Flyer if I wanted, though she’d have to charge me for it, but the wheel itself? Free. She really wanted it to go where it would be loved.

It is General Conference weekend for our church, with Saturday and Sunday sessions, but in between those we drove on down. I got to share hugs with my old friends. Oh, man, it had been so long, and with Stitches gone now…

Kaye brought out a box and I got it in the car and thanked her and we continued the conversation and I thought that’s all Sand and I were doing as Kaye disappeared–

–but this time she came back with this.

That’s a gorgeous wheel!! I exclaimed in surprise, and I guess my deafness had tripped me up because I didn’t get it, what were they doing with a second one–I said, You already put the box in the car!

That’s the accessories.

They’d gotten to see my reaction to their painting and just how blown away I was, and man that felt good.

I reminded them a bit about my old wheel and said, I’d almost offered to give you that one to sell–but I, I, didn’t want to inflict it on you.

They laughed.

I promised to send them a picture, and they can decide. There it is. Lovingly stained years ago by–Sand.

2 Comments so far
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How wonderful that they thought of you. Can’t wait to see what you create now. I hope Sand is okay, I miss Purlescence.

Comment by DebbieR 10.01.23 @ 9:33 am

Such a wonderful gift! I hope that healing and peace find them. Enjoy the new wheel.

Comment by Margo Lynn 10.01.23 @ 3:52 pm

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