Look at this beauty: a 1984 Ashford Scholar, in perfect, ship-shape condition.
Finding her was a lovely bit of serendipity. I'd embarked on the process of buying a wheel in a methodical but exhausting way, obsessively researching different makes and models and planning to test-drive wheels at stores all around the valley. It was overwhelming.
And then a woman in my knitting group pointed me towards an ad in the Arizona Desert Weavers and Spinners Guild newsletter. The clouds parted. The mind-numbing minutiae of the search disappeared in a poof of smoke. And in no time at all, I had myself a lovely spinning wheel.
I had such a splendid visit with the woman who sold me this wheel. She was a very accomplished weaver, spinner, and knitter, and it was really a pleasure to see her work and talk to her about her crafting life. This was her very first wheel, and it was clear that it was much beloved and well cared for.
When she'd originally bought the wheel, twenty-five years ago, she had the foresight to put an engraved label on the side with her name and the year. Now I'll add my name and year. I love having this sense of history in an artifact, and I like to think about the names and dates that will be added to it throughout its life.
It's taking a bit of adjustment to move from a drop spindle to a spinning wheel, but I've been practicing over the weekend, and I think I'm getting the hang of it. You can expect to see plenty of spinning on this blog in the future!