Last spring, my husband came home from an outing with Widget one Saturday morning all excited, and with a surprise for me, that he'd found at a tag sale. His surprises are sometimes, well, surprising, so I was a little nervous as I waited in the living room while he brought his treasure in from the car.
Imagine my surprise when he walked in with a spinning wheel! Imagine my even greater surprise when it was an actual working wheel, with all the parts that it needed to work correctly.
It was clearly in sad shape, having been stored in someone's garage for goodness only knows how long, but it did clearly have all the parts that it needed, except a drive band. It even had its original manual, so I knew that it was a Country Craftsman wheel, so only a replica of an antique and not an actual one. Even better, although the wheels are no longer made, I could still buy bobbins and such for it.
But, I've been slow to really get into the spinning thing (even though I love it when I do it) and I've been working, slowly, on getting to know my Louet, so the new wheel sat and looked (kind of) pretty in the living room. I was a little scared of it - especially after being completely unable to work any kind of wheel at Yarn School other than the same Louet I had at home - and I didn't want to waste my limited spinning time fighting with a wheel I wasn't even sure worked.
I was struck this week that it was a little silly having this big old wheel sitting unused in the living room. I decided it was time to try it out - see if I could get it to work at all, see if I liked spinning on it if I could, evaluate how much work it might need if I could get it to work. Because if I hated it, or it was hopeless, I'd try to find it a new home with someone who would love it or could fix it. If I loved it, then I should work on actually getting it into shape.
It turns out that I love it.
This evening, I fixed up a drive band for it, oiled it up and actually spun a little. It definitely needs some work - the bar that holds the wheel on is warped, so the whole thing is a little wobbly. Wiley thinks he can fix that. Even wobbly, though, it spins really nicely.
I spun up a little of the wool that I dyed at Yarn school, and the finished product is not great, but when the wheel and I hit our groove, I was very pleased with what I was getting out of it.
I think I need to have Wiley try and straighten out the bar for holding the wheel, because I think the wobble that it is introducing is stressing some of the other wood parts. If he can fix that, then I think that it may be just fine without any further intervention - and I need to go buy some spare parts before they all get sold, and maybe think about trying to refinish her this summer. Maybe.