One of the wheel wrights on Ravelry said one day, “Have you ever thought that maybe you have added another century to the life of this wheel?”
This week, I got the chance to be part of the next century of another Canadian Production Wheel. I tell you, it’s such a great feeling!
A Bordua wheel showed up on the Alberta kijiji listings, and I posted to the Ravelry board to see if anyone wanted me to pick it up and foster it until the new owner and I could meet up: someone from “the absolute centre of nowhere, Saskatchewan” piped up, so while I was in Calgary yesterday helping my sister and brother-in-law move to their new place, I picked up the wheel.
It’s the same maker as mine – but this one has a mark! I’ve never seen a maker’s mark on the wheel with my own eyes before, so that was quite something.
Here are the two wheels side by side:
There are a few differences – the one in front (that’s the one I picked up in Calgary) has some more detail (extra lines on the wheel rim, wooden ‘toggles’ to hold the uprights and one of the maidens in position, finer turnings on the spokes and maidens). One theory is that over time, the maker dropped some of the finer points of construction. I wonder, too, if perhaps there were different models, like with cars – the routine style and the ‘upgraded’ style.
This wheel was (I shudder to even say it) painted brown with gold trim … the people I picked it up from had bought it that way, and promptly stripped the horrid paint job (and not erased the maker’s mark, which is impressive!) and kept it as a lovely decoration for years. Now, it’s back in service making yarn … and I’ve had a hand in giving it another century of life. Wow.
It’ll be handed off to the new owner this summer, at Fibre Week, when we will both be in the same place … then it’ll travel home to Saskatchewan where it can continue to sing it’s quiet, happy, productive song at the hands of yet another generation of spinners.