Monday, November 01, 2010

Blogging for November.

I've been awol for a while now, haven't I? Sorry. Been busy. As in really busy. Since I started on these new drugs I've been getting at least halfway back into my old groove again and getting so much more done than say this last year. More things done means more to blog about but also means less time to do the blogging, no? Oh well.

However it's November and that means it's NaBloPoMo.I've done this before so it seems like a perfect opportunity for me to do some catch up blogging, as I'm sure you'll be delighted to hear. What have I been up to? Well, a lot of spinning and knitting, astonishingly, lots of work down the allotment, three birthdays and even some home improvements, though I must admit my back isn't up to shinning up and down ladders any more so not quite as much DIY as I would have liked. Oh yes, and there is the saga of the apples too.

First off though, I bought a new spinning wheel. Yes, another one. I can hear you all laughing from here, ho ho. Get Away. It was a deliberate planned purchase, not like some of the others. I decided that I really needed to own an Ashford Traditional, both for doing some basic teaching and also for when I'm taking a class myself. Despite all the wheels I own I don't really have one good simple workhorse that can do a good range of types of spinning. You can't go far wrong with a Traditional so I decided to keep my eyes open for a good bargain second hand one. At the same time I was due to spin at a local Scottish Day event and was dithering about which wheel I owned that would look most Scottish, which most of them don't. So when I saw this wheel on Ebay, I thought it looked ideal for a Scottish Day, despite coming from New Zealand.

(Pictures from the Ebay auction, but it's MY wheel now. I don't think the seller will mind.)

I fell in love with it instantly. I bid (quite a bit more than I would for a basic Traddy, must admit) and I won, at a remarkably fair price and a lot lower than I was prepared to pay. It arrived, I put it together, I spun on it. And loved it. Old Ashfords go on forever but this one is a particularly sweet spinner. And I just loved the painting on it, with the clever Celtic twirls that fit the wheel perfectly and the affectionately drawn fibre animals. (There is a camel, a goat, an alpaca and a cotton boll on one side, two sleepy sheep and two crazed rabbits on the other.) My favourites are the rabbits, hurtling at top speed round the rear of the drive wheel. Lovely, and full of character. I've bought it a four speed sliding hook flyer for taking classes and really, it's become my favourite wheel.

But it gets better.Today I got a PM from a spinner on Ravelry. She'd read a description of my 70's painted Tradtional and it sounded familiar. Could it be the same wheel that she had owned some years previously, and which she'd painted? I linked her to a picture and waited with bated breath. I love wheels with character and history and I must admit I'd wondered about the spinner who'd owned this wheel before me. She must have loved it very much to lavish so much attention on it after all. It is an old wheel, dating from the mid 70's, thus 35 years or so old. It was entirely possible that the owner had died, even, given the Ebay seller appeared to be some sort of curio dealer.

But no. Step forwards the previous owner but one, Skyskeiner, who had indeed painted her/my wheel. She had bought it second hand about 14 years ago, then later sold it to a spinner in Cornwall. Skyskeiner is "into gardening, fruit growing, spinning and spinning wheels", lol. It say so on her blog. I've read her blog in the past! She's read mine! And she told me all about how she'd painted the wheel, and what had inspired the lovely paintings of animals.

I'm really pleased she found me and told me more about our lovely old Traddy. She's pleased to see it again, and to know it's found a good home where it's loved and cherished. Isn't the world a small place? Really, it's made my day.


Alison said...

that is *the* most awesome story, it's made my day, never mind yours!!

I'd really love to see some of those animals in close-up, when you get the chance. Oh - and I'm very glad to see you back; I love reading your updates, even though I'm a near-terminal lurker...

Anonymous said...

Hey! Missed you, and had been wondering what you are up to!

And oh, I'm *so* surprised to see you have got another wheel!

A new arrival here from Oz turns out to be a spinner and weaver.

KathyR said...

Truly a lovely story about your "new" wheel! A very familiar version of the Traddy for me - I bought my first wheel around 1977 or '78, a kitset Ashford traditional exactly the same as yours. I still have it for sentimental reasons (my Dad helped me to put it together and I taught myself to spin on it) however I haven't used it for years forging it a long time ago for a Mjacraft Suzie.