15 June 2013

Ontario, Day 6

I should be sleeping, but the adrenaline rush is still on full blast so I might as well post today’s update while the valerian/hops blend kicks in!

The great news is that I slept 7 solid hours last night, which I desperately needed, so that was awesome as I was then able to face (and enjoy) the day.

First thing this morning I went down and got a cup of tea, and poked my head in the door where the conference session was on. The organizer person at the door said I should go in and participate if I wanted to, so I got to play! The theme of the conference is “spinning tales” and we were given an excerpt from a book and fibre to spin a yarn that somehow went with our story. I had the bit from the first Harry Potter book where Harry is at Hogwarts for the first time – the dining hall with the sparkling candles in midair, the silvery ghosts, and the ceiling that shows a sky spangled with stars. That was fun to spin!

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As I was heading out of the seminar, I saw this wheel:

Photo 2013-06-15 10 25 36 AM

I stopped dead in my tracks, set down all my stuff and dug out my camera because I had to have a picture of it! I found the owner later on – her husband made the wheel for her, it’s really (REALLY) impressive. I hear he may be doing custom orders … I have contact info, email me if you want it. :)

Then it was time to get things going in the market. A lady brought a double flyer wheel for Wheelwright to have a look at:

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(That swift in the foreground is an actual antique that was repaired – it’s got new bars, but the upright and screws are original. Yes, it’s for sale.)

There were a lot of gorgeous wheels.

A Paradis with the original pumpkin paint (in fabulous shape, boy does this thing spin beautifully):

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A reproduction CPW done in pine; a very old, very wonderful (really, really wonderful) screw tension wheel that was at some point painted (or partially painted) blue; a Bisson that isn’t quite fully refinished yet…

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A lovely little flax wheel, a marked Philias Cadorette, and you can just see the leg of a really cute little child’s wheel (which is part of Wheelwright’s personal collection). All but the baby wheel are looking for homes, and I spun on every one of them and loved them all! It’s a good thing I came here on a plane. That pumpkin wheel or that once-blue-screw tension would probably find their way into my car if it were here.

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So my purpose here was to spin on the wheels and help folks who wanted to try them out. Basically, I got to sit around and play with gorgeous wheels and talk to people … it was awesome!

My aunt and uncle came down from Brampton and we got to visit for part of the morning and then have tea during our midafternoon break. I never did get a picture, we were too busy chatting and having a good time, but boy oh boy was it wonderful to see them. It’s been way too long.

We convinced other spinners to test the wheels (see, Aunt Sharon? she spins barefoot too!)…

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And I spun and plyed up 100 grams of lovely black fibre. When I had the bobbin all filled up, Wheelwright suggested we skein it up on the antique swift. Now, I’d been sitting there spinning and chatting to this lovely gentleman who told me, after some time, that his career was making spinning wheels.

I was sitting next to Gord Lendrum. Yes, *that* Gord Lendrum.

So, my yarn was skeined by the man behind a Canadian wheel manufacturing company and a wheel repair expert, while I stood there and watched.

photo (2)

They even wound it into a ball when it was time to pack up for the day.

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Do I have an awesome life or what, eh?

In the evening there was a dinner and a fashion show (inspiring, as always) and then a spin-in … during which I spun up another bobbin full of yarn and plyed it, this time on a marked Dejsardins. Yep, it’s been a fun day.

Tomorrow morning Wheelwright is doing his keynote speech, all about assessing and repairing/restoring antique wheels. I’ll be operating the camera that will be used to project the detailed view of what he’s discussing (a part of the wheel, for instance) onto the screen so that everyone in the room can see even if they are at the back.

I suppose that means I should get some sleep, since I need to be downstairs in about seven hours. Uh, make that six.

Tomorrow is another busy day – conference in the morning, train in the afternoon, visiting with some of my Chosen Family in the evening … then sleep fast and get on the plane to go home the day after! What a whirlwind this trip has been … but it’s been a wonderful time.

Seeing my family was just like coming home, didn’t seem like anything really out of the ordinary, we were just … all together. Like it ought to be. It isn’t like that very often though, and I’m really, really glad I came … because I have so enjoyed being with everyone ‘for real’. Add to that the chance to meet Wheelwright after four years of online friendship, to play with lovely wheels and meet wonderful people and make pretty string (all at once!), see my aunt and uncle, and see one of my very best friends and his family … and well, things just don’t get much better than that.

I’m very blessed, and very grateful.


  1. What a fabulous day you've had! One day, I will get to the Conference. Gord Lendrum is more or less local to my home near Kingston, ON. I can't believe you were hanging out with spinning wheel royalty, never mind having them wind your yarn for you!!!!

  2. flannelberry8:29 am

    What a great adventure! I love the fairy tale spinning idea. And I get to see you in a week - not even!!!

  3. Anonymous9:32 am

    Just curious....I'm the aunt that paints...Some of our best wood pieces come from Stirling fine furniture....Do these guys know each other? Was fun to be part of this great adventure....even if I know absolutely nothing about fibre.

  4. Anonymous3:44 pm


    Love, Forerunner. :)

  5. SarahCM6:05 pm

    Love love love that coooool wheel in the second photo from top. Who made it and what (cringe) would one cost?


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