When I was out in California a couple of months ago, we were enjoying our supper out on the deck. After the meal, her mother asked if I wanted to see her spinning wheel. Heck yeah I want to see it, I didn't know she had one. So we went to her sewing room, and there stood a beautiful, antique spinning wheel. It turns out it had been left at my friend's Dad's shop many years ago. He is a woodworker/furniture maker and the maker of my peg loom. Somebody had brought it in for repair, but then never returned to pay for the repair or claim it. I stood there admiring it, oohing and ahhing over the beautiful turned wood and the wheel that turns with nary a wobble. Her mother said, Good, it's yours. Wait, huh? Yep, they wanted me to have it, because I could actually make use of it and appreciate it fully. I about fell over.
Here she is. Isn't she pretty? She has a tiny little orifice, and some extra turned parts (distaff?)the rest of my wheels don't have. I think she is a flax wheel. She is double-drive, and with the telephone help of a spinning friend, I was able to make a drive band out of some kitchen cotton yarn. I've never had a double-drive wheel, so it took me a while to figure out how it works. She spins beautifully! I have part of a bobbin done. Do you want to know the part I love the best about her though?
See those grooves there on the flyer? The yarn fits in there as you're spinning. Here, maybe a close up will help.
Just think of how many yards of thread/yarn has been spun on this wheel to wear grooves in the wood. Isn't that the coolest damn thing? Yes, this is the kind of thing I think about. Just think of the stories this wheel could tell. I suspect she is old enough, maybe she made it to California on a covered wagon?
Hey, wouldn't that be a good book? The story of the lives of the spinners who have treadled her? Maybe give it a bit of a fantasy twist, with a modern day spinner going back in time. If there can be magic mirrors, why not a magic spinning wheel? Somebody needs to write that book. I'd read it. In the meantime, I'll just sit here and imagine while I spin.
Thank you Liesel and Dieter. I am honored to have her.