28 November 2009

A wonderful thing happened to me today!

For my birthday, my awesome husband gave me a $20 gift certificate for the local yarn store. Today I finally had a chance to go in there and wander around: I knew I could find something to spend my money on ... some new circulars for a project I want to do from Knitty (a lovely cowl called Ice Queen – last week at the thrift store I found this amazing cotton/acrylic/mohair yarn that'll be perfect for this), more row counters (always need those), and some lovely purple merino silk blend rovings to spin up.

As I was standing there pondering knitting notions, I heard a conversation between the shopkeeper and a lady. The lady said "oh, and I have this Ashford wheel ... I've had it for 15 years figuring I'd learn to spin, but I haven't, and I figure it's time to sell it. Could I sell it here, maybe?"

Well, you can bet your boots I spoke up right then!

"A wheel?? Did you say you have a wheel for sale?"

I explained I've got my PVC Babe wheel, but have been coveting a wooden one for awhile. However, I've only got a bit of money to spend so I was looking for a used one.

"Well, how much have you got?"

I told her I had $150, totally figuring that'd be way too low.

Her eyes got big - it was more than she thought she'd get for it, clearly!

The shopkeeper and I asked her some questions to figure out which model of Ashford it was, and in the end we weren't quite sure, but it was either the Traditional or the Traveller. Even knowing that new these go for $400 or so, she was quite happy to make the deal with me, and I picked it up this afternoon!

And … it *is* the Traveller (single drive) - which is EXACTLY the wheel I wanted! I wanted a castle wheel (I just love 'em, the look, and the space, and ... I dunno, they just suit me. Maybe it's from working on a Babe for so long!) ... she was THRILLED to have it go to someone so excited (I swear I was bouncing in my seat on the way home, this is just the cooooolest thing to have happen!) and the yarn store lady thought it was just awesome that we were both happy! Way cool!

The wheel was bought brand new and never used. It's sat, untouched, for 15 years in a corner, just looking pretty.

A good coat of Old English lemon oil on all the pieces (it'll need another coat or two, the wood's a bit thirsty - we have a very dry climate, so we're quite accustomed to that kind of maintenance), some penetrating oil squirted on the bearings, a new drive band (the original had disappeared somewhere, and a hunk of this ... whatever it is that works really well for weaving warp ... seems to be working great), and it's treadling smoothly!

I'm about to check the instructions on the Ashford site, then get some fibre and try this baby out ... I am sooooo excited!

So if you need something to feel happy about, I have enough happiness to share! Wherever you are, feel free to jump for joy right along with me!


  1. Anonymous9:41 pm

    Oh in the right place at the right time for sure! I'm happy for you and promise never to take it from you - Ha!

  2. I am so happy for you. I am a spinning dud so always impressed with someone who has the talent. when my sheep are shorn I will send you a sample of Cotswold wool and you can let me know how you like it. Be Spinny!

  3. It was absolutely amazing and the wheel is fabulous. :)

    I have spun up one bobbin of Icelandic rovings, and plyed it with another bobbin I'd finished on the Babe - the bobbins on the Ashford hold a wee bit more than the Babe, and although managing the tension is a little different, it's easier to treadle as it is sturdier.

    Wind 'n' Wooly, I've never spun Cotswold, that'd be a fun experiment! Wool is just such great stuff. :)

  4. I can feel your excitement. That's how I felt when I was offered chickens after scheming and dreaming about them all year. Things like that just make you grin for a long time.

  5. Anonymous6:35 am

    Love it when something nice happens without any planning. The warm fuzzies last a very long time.I think it is really neat that you "grow" your hobby and now you can produce more and different kinds of wool with your new wheel.You can spin away a long cold winter .

  6. Oh I am so happy for you! I love my Ashford. The first loom sold me on their things and I haven't been disappointed since (another loom and a Joy later). You're going to love it. I know the Babe worked for you but having spun on both - just wait. There is a warmth you get from the wood. I can't even explain it.

    Sorry I've been out of touch. I'll send you an email in the net day or two...

  7. Also - you can get user manuals, etc. online if yours didn't come with one. They're simple but the one I have has a couple of good tweaking tips.


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