Thursday, September 07, 2006

A New Old Wheel

During May of the blog hiatus, I went to 3 Sheep & Wool shows - Maryland, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. I was working with Spirit Trail Fiberworks for the first two, and just playing at the third. When you work a booth at a fiber show, you seldom do much shopping, except to stop by and visit vendors that you know and can count on always having something interesting, and who are hopefully on or near the route to the bathrooms or food.

That's what happened to me at MDSW the first weekend of the month. It was a very busy show, so one of my quick shopping stops was to Lisa at Spinner's Hill. Lisa makes the most beautiful fluffy clouds of fiber, often with silk or alpaca blended in. As I was writing a check for my purchase (kept myself to just one) I noticed a great wheel that was off in the corner. Now, I already had a great wheel, but this one called for a closer look, and no wonder. It is a wheel that was made by Norm Hall in the mid-70's, for the director of an upstate NY historical museum. She had died recently, and after wondering what to do with the wheel it was decided to send with Lisa to see if it would sell.

I fell into wheel-lust immediately. I can spin on my circa 1830 great wheel, but it's really more of a historical piece. Norm's wheel spun so smoothly, even without a drive band, that I was hooked, and it came home with me. Here it is:

And a better view of the flyer:
I couldn't resist playing with it as soon as I got home, and soon had the spindle filling:
As you can see, it's not an accelerating drive, but I measure the ratio at about 75-80:1, so it's still great for many fibers. I was spinning some badger-faced wool that I had carded, and went on to have a great time with a couple of ounces of buffalo down that I had received for my birthday.

It's not together at the new house yet, but as soon as I am out of my cast (maybe next week, I have an appt. with my surgeon) and walking better, I think that this wheel will be good physical therapy.

Cotton, here I come!