I have this theory that nothing in this universe really gets destroyed, it just changes places every so often using gates that shift objects through the space-time continuem. Sometimes the gates get busy and clogged up, so transient objects get parked in a sort of holding bay, or bays.
These bays are known as charity shops, car-boot sales and jumble sales. Yes, every object in the universe has at one time or other done a spell in one of the above. Antique Chinese vases, Old Masters, your Gran`s silk stockings....every last one of them has been there. Of course they seldom get bought, because the warp gate moves them on pretty quickly, but every so often a sharp eyed jumble sale fanatic catches a glimpse of a rare Faberge egg or similar on a distant table, only to find it gone by the time they reach the spot.
However this theory also means that if you`re a fanatical attendee of charity shops, jumble sales and carboots, sooner or later you`ll find one of about everything you ever wanted. IF...and this is a big IF...you look hard enough. It may take several lifetimes, of course. But sometimes it works out.
Take for instance my theory that if I looked hard enough I would find a spinning wheel in a charity shop, jumble sale or carboot sale.
Oh yea of little faith...am I not one of the true belivers? I never, NEVER go past a charity shop without at least a peer through the window. But even I nearly missed this. They had it in the window sure enough, but it was being used as a sort of display unit, with clothes draped over it. I was on my way out when I saw it and it was a real "Oh WOW!", moment, belive me.
Anyway, enough of this bilge. Do you recognise the wheel? I`ll give you a clue...it has an Ashford stamp. Yes, it`s an older single treadle Ashford Country spinner.
You just have to see this flyer unit. It`s bigger than my head.
Don`t you belive me? Look at this.
Right hand side is the Ashford Country bobbin, centre is the standard Louet bobbin and left side is a bobbin from my Mazurka. This last one is probably nearest to a standard capacity bobbin. How much can you squeeze onto a standard bobbin? Two ounces? Three? The Country one holds over two pounds of yarn.
And if that isn`t enough to convince you that this is the Big Boy of spinning wheels, look at this orifice. It`s 7/8ths of an inch across. I can put my thumb up it.
Other technical details? It has a bobbin-led drive, thus Irish tension. Don`t be fooled by what looks like a Scotch tension spring and wire system in the last pix. I was for a while, then realised it brakes the flyer by running over a groove near the orifice. The newer double treadle model has a leather strap system similar to the Louet but this version works just fine.
So....I needed a fourth wheel like I need a hole in the head, but there it was. Begging me to take it away from an ignomineous end as a shop display unit. What could I say? I have my Louet and goodness knows he can spin chunky yarns, but this beast was something else. So I bought it.
(What am I going to spin on it? Well, I have a supply of Welsh Mountain fleece...lovely thick springy stuff, perfect for carpets. And what does a Country spinner spin best? Thick chunky singles for rug making or weaving.
Back to the loom, methinks.)