A few weeks ago, on a whim, I decided to sell my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel. Afterall, I inherited an heirloom spinning wheel that came to North America from Norway before my granny was born. It is the quintessential fairy-tale wheel, though I am waiting for my littles to grow up a bit before I bring it out of storage ~ our house is not that big! The Ashford is similar and I was thinking about getting a smaller, more compact wheel with double treadles and a double drive.
After much research and helpful advice (thanks Sara!), I fell (hard) for the Kromski Minstrel...absolutely lovely! You can imagine how hard it was to wait for the wheel to arrive...three long, long weeks. And then, returning home from an outing with the children on Sunday, together we made a prayer for a phone call about the wheel. Well, imagine our surprise, when minutes later we opened our front door to find this...
It is a beautiful wheel which you can't help but spin with...truly effortless! Late one night, after my husband returned home from the mountains, we put the wheel together...with the help of an on-line video and paper instructions, it took about an hour to assemble. There were a few kinks to work out ~ quacking duck noises, squeaking bird chirps and the tightening of leather ties. But the next morning, the children went out to play on their own (amazing!) and I oiled a few parts here and there and now it purrs beautifully. Oh, if you haven't heard a spinning wheel purr...it is absolutely thrilling and calming at the same time!
Of course, I had ideas I wanted to put into practice right away. Using a few different merino rovings and some corriedale batting, I played with my handcarders to make some rolags to spin.
After spending a good hour making several rolags, with the children clustered about fondling the soft and fluffy little bundles, I began to spin...and spin...and spin...what an indulgent morning I had!
I am again reading a lovely book by Scott Chaskey, This Common Ground, a collection of poems and essays about small farm life and CSAs. It is such a treasure...
On winter farming activities (that is, grazing over seed catalogues), Scott writes,
"Though I am not new to the process, each year I sense the urgency of spring, and renewal, with the arrival of a myriad of seeds. The names alone can be magical, suggestive of intriguing places and unknown lineage...It may be that we plant over two hundred varieties yearly just to taste the names. Anyone who has named a child will recognize the inherent mystery in the act of naming, part of the mystery of language itself."
And now, I must get back to my Minstrel...she is calling like a Siren. I still have a hefty basket of rolags to spin up!
Joining Ginny for the weekly yarn-along.