It came quietly, just before Thanksgiving. Yes, my 50th birthday! No big fanfare, no big party, just well wishes from friends and family, and a sudden sort of weird realization that my first half of a century was gone. Done. Wow.
I’m not a real worrier of birthdays, never have been. That’s not to say that I don’t recognize them or contemplate them, but I figure it’s just another step in my life’s journey.
However, my best birthdays are when I get to spend the day with my girls and take a little day trip! And even better, was that I had a little birthday money to spend and we had found an antique, yet functional spinning wheel about 60 miles away for a very very reasonable sum of merely $75!
We left early in the morning, and stopped to have a little breakfast on the way. I was very excited about the wheel. I had been looking and watching for one, but they were always quite expensive and pretty much out of my range at the moment. Easily $400 or more! So when this one came up, and after talking with the nice lady through email and learning it had been refurbished… I knew it was one to take a look at and possibly bring home!
Once we arrived, it was so nice to meet the lady whom the wheel belonged to. She told us that it was her father’s girlfriend’s wheel from around the turn of the century! Before he married her mother! And that it had been in the family ever since. I wondered why the girlfriends gave them wheel to her father, but well, that wasn’t part of the tale!
She had it professionally refurbished several years ago, stripped of the black paint and repaired in places. The craftsman added missing parts such as the flyer assembly and the flax dip cup on the maidens. It treadles nicely and well, I was sold. It was coming home.
There are some worn spots for certain, and I believe that a little bit of wood filler and a bit of sanding will flesh it all out. I intend to leave it natural, not painted.
The girls made me a lovely birthday dinner with broasted chicken and stuffing as well as a yummy cheesecake sampler! What a nice day and evening!
After a little research I began to learn about the wheel. Apparently it is called a Saxony style wheel. Apparently after the civil war, coffin builders began to augment their sales by making spinning wheels. They were often called Coffin Wheels. You can see the replacement parts on the wheel as the wood is nicer, lighter and without cracks or marks. Once I get a little time I intend to put a good coat of lemon oil on the whole wheel.
I ordered a drive band for the wheel and went through setting it up… but unfortunately, it doesn’t want to work smoothly. It seems that the alignment was off, as the wheel and the flyer is not quite in sync. I may have to take it to a professional and get it a little more inline and running properly. I would love to be able to use it as a regular spinning wheel. However, if it does end up that the wheel is not really a regular working wheel and more of a antique only piece, that will be okay. It’s such a beautiful piece and I will enjoy having it in my fiber processing collection.
I’ve decided that this, the second part of my life, I would really like to embrace more of my hands-on creative life. I want to learn to really use my small sheep flock’s fibers with spinning, dying and then knitting and weaving with it. I just adore weaving on my old rug loom and really want to do a lot more of that. I’ve spent the better part of the last 25 years involved in graphic arts… which I enjoy and apparently have a bit of a talent for, but the last 15 years or so it’s been primarily all done on computer. And so much of what I do it very limited in use. Aside from say, a logo or perhaps a website, which does have some longivity, most of the things I do are dated. Flyers and post cards and other promotional material for the most part is created, designed, used and forgotten. I like the idea of doing more creative and artsy things. Things like the rugs and weavings or even more drawing, painting, and pottery things that are longer lasting. That really appeals to me!
So I have made just one wish for the next 50 years of my life, if I am so blessed and that is to be more hands on creative and crafty! To enjoy working with my hands to create art and also useful items. I hope to do a little more sewing and quilting, as well as the rug making and weaving.
And when this special table top loom came up on a fiber list that I haunt, I couldn’t believe it. It’s a lovely 4 harness table top loom by Schacht. I mentioned that I would love the loom but didn’t think it would be in the budget. Well, unbelievably, the lady said she would be happy to take payments on it! Oh my! Well, we talked and agreed on a price and a payment plan. How excellent! I’ve made my first payment and hope to be able to pay it off within 6 weeks or sooner! The wonderful about of the loom is that with 4 harnesses, is that I can weave quite unique patterns such as plaids and such with this loom! It’s 25 inches wide, so I can actually do kitchen linens and other neat things like scarfs and such. So excited!
So there you go. My fibery birthday! What a lovely day and so many nice little things! Thank you to my daughters and their fun and involvement in it all! Onward and upward!!!!Pin It