Friday, November 12, 2010

Doing a Wheely!

What's this???  Can you guess?  It arrived yesterday and I ran to the gate to hug my UPS man!  He drove it up to the door and unloaded the boxes, and it is everything I'd hoped to find.

It's what I am going to be doing this weekend, starting with a can of Johnson's Carnuba Paste Wax--otherwise known as elbow grease, plus an assortment of oddiments collectively known as hardware, and a few screwdrivers as well.  The individual pieces are silky smooth.

Nonetheless, to  every single piece, a generous protective coating of paste wax must be applied BEFORE assembly.  Along with a buffing 'til it shines! 

Let's just say I don't choose hobbies that make me completely sedentary!  The beeswax candle, beside the wax in the above photo, smells absolutely divine, the aroma is a permanent benefit regardless how old the candle! And once the screws are coated with it, they'll slip in like going through butter.

It's a labor of love being applied to this lovely piece of what is both a decorative piece of folk furniture, and an exquisite tool.  
And, perhaps, best of know what???  IT'S NOT MADE IN CHINA!  It's an Ashford, made in New Zealand.  The Ashford Company is a husband and wife team that has been turning out quaint but oh-so-useful pieces for 75 years!  They've made over 600,000 of one design or another.  This one is made from New Zealand Silver Beech, from sustainably grown forests, and the grain and color is simply lovely!

So....what is it?  Of course!  I knew you'd guess!  It's another spinning wheel! (I already have two, so why in the world would I need another one???)  OK.  First let me show you how it will look at the end of the weekend:

MM insisted that I get it. It's called a Country Spinner and my reason for wanting it is that it will spin huge yarns.  I may have mentioned this in another post, but we used to own the house on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, that belonged to Margaret Moss, the lady who originally taught the Cowichan natives to spin wool in the grease (terrific water repellant!) and in patterns, which many recognize and which continue to this day.  The Cowichan Sweaters are still produced in the traditional way up there, and are now found all over the world.   I learned to spin on what was then called an "Indian Spinner."  For whatever reason, I sold that spinner long years ago and have always been sorry I did.  This Ashford spinner goes far beyond that other spinner, though, and it's a lot better.  The orifice through which the yarn passes on the Country Spinner is 7/8" in diameter.  The bobbin is huge, as well, and will hold up to 2.2 pounds of yarn.  The wheel has ball bearings, too, to make for easy-glide spinning.   It will also allow me to do novelty yarns as it allows the passage of beads and feathers!  What fun!  Plus, my dyehouse produce will brighten the interplay between subdued and raucous!  Yessireeeee!  I am LOVIN' IT!   And, BTW, the Ashford Company makes several models of spinning wheels as well as looms.

It's going to be a busy, fun weekend out here JOTOLR!  Between buffing and puffing, I'm gonna be in great shape by the time I get 'er up and running!!

Thank you everyone for stopping by this past week!  It's been a bit crazy here.  This nice weather has kept us both outside and doing tasks we hadn't been able to do when the garden was in full swing.

We've got the weekend of good weather and then the Weather Service is forecasting some showers.  Hope it's all fine in your neck of the woods! 
Happy Friday!
See you Monday!


  1. Elora -- Sounds like you not only will have a busy weekend but also a busy winter with your yarn projects. Have a productive weekend -- barbara

  2. Happy spinning! A nice winter pastime!

  3. Wow - it's beautiful! I know you're going to have so much fun with it - congratulations on an extraordinary purchase. blessings, marlene

  4. How exciting! Ashford make some wonderful pieces and they seem to last forever. I currently have the 'Traditional' which I love and I've been debating (err...justifying) getting their tapestry loom. Looking forward to seeing all your projects! Happy assembling :-)

  5. Julia,

    I know you'll cave in. Just as I did with the Country Spinner!!! That Tapestry Loom beckons! I took a look at it in the catalog of Ashford products. When winter rolls around this year you'll have to put some pix on your blog of your projects! It's hard to ignore the call of the wool! And I was reading last night about the Anasazi who spun yucca, milkweed and dogbane! We have yucca growing right beside the porch, mostly unwanted. Think I will eventually give it a whirl, spinning it, that is. Believe it or not, it must be pressure-cooked first to release the fiber! Fascinating!

    Thanks, Marlene...!! I read every single "thought" on the free-motion quilting (machine) agony for you and empathize! It's never as easy as it looks is it!!!! I've watched TV in amazement at what one can create with free motion machines, tho! Hang in there!! Or maybe you'll cave, too,like the rest of us, Marlene!! We all do, you know!!

    Writing and Spinning, Vicki! Can't think of a better combo! Thoughts adrift, caught in the web, and plied. Wool is my base and my heart for all my writing endeavors. As you said, write what you know and I do know sheep and wool and fiber arts. Not to mention I do love it!

    You are so right, Barbara! Getting my ducks in a row, here! Now...all we need is some winter! :-))

    I'm not wishing it fast, though, NCMW...! Promise I am journey-oriented!


  6. Oh Elora you have me so fired up now to start spinning again! The days are so hot here at the moment that I can only garden in the mornings and evenings so I'm thinking a little spinning in the shade of the garden in the afternoons would be a grand idea. Now I'm on the hunt for a new fleece! Hope you managed to get your lovely wheel all put together over the weekend :-) Julia

  7. Well, all....I got stopped in my assembly. Read and re-read the directions...finally discovered that two very important pieces are missing. So, until I get them (simple-looking, but oh-so-critical --the pieces that mount the wheel), didn't make it into the shipment. So, now I am back to my Lendrum, which has been my lovely, treasured wheel of choice for years. I LOVE that wheel and it will never leave my heart. I bought it used back in the early 90's for a comparitive song. It folds up and travels, and makes spinning like breathing.

    You go, Julia! Tell me all about your fleece shopping! Right now, I have 30 pounds of Leicester Longwool roving, along with quite a bit of Merino, a goodly amount of Corriedale and some Norwegian fleece as well. Of course the easy way is to simply purchase bits and pieces already prepared. Getting a whole fleece (as I have had) extends the prep time, but somehow I have always loved that part of the process.


  8. How annoying - hope those pieces turn up soon! I've never bought a prepared fleece, always just used a flick carder but I would love to have a drum carder(so expensive though). I think my love of the raw fleece harks back to the days at a rural university when I took papers in wool technology (yup!) in preparation for a career as an international wool buyer (which didn't happen). I loved Friday afternoon wool classing sessions (and the strapping farmers sons :-) sent in for an 'education' before inheriting the family high country stations) and spending time at the nearby Wool Reasearch Organisation. So for me buying a prepped fleece just feels like I'm missing half the experience!