I’ve just lost my mind – or have I?

Oh, I do hope not.

But hey… maybe all the rain has had a terrible effect; it certainly led me to rework the words to the Welsh national anthem, incorporating slugs for the first time ever, over on my gardening blog. But it’s sunny now – for a moment – and I just reached a natural stopping point with the book I’m working on, and — no, it’s all excuses.

It’s the spinning.

It’s not as though I didn’t have enough to do, you understand, but niggling away at the back of my mind has been the thought that much as I love my wonderfully eccentric home-made spinning wheel,

she can be tough on the hands.

And, let’s be honest, I can be tough on her. It’s not all cups of tea in the garden, oh no. She should be used to some of it, mind; her previous owner did take her to Guild meetings. But I think I put her through a bit more.

She gets hauled in and out of the car on a much more regular basis, for instance. There’s the monthly trip to my Guild meeting at Penygroes and then, in the opposite direction, to the Sunday Market Spinners in Dolgellau.

And then she gets involved in all sorts of embarrassments, like being paraded at craft fairs where she may be interfered with by small boys (and bigger ones), as she seems to exert an extraordinary magnetism on men of all ages. She’s been spun officially in public, once in a park and once in a very cold Caernarfon Castle,

where she is shivering with a few other wheels all waiting for their owners (I’m seeing them as being rather like the ‘horses’ in Monty Python and the Holy Grail). Well, all other wheels are shivering except for a snuggly wrapped Louet Victoria in its carrying bag, that is.

She’s been in a fleece to throw –

where she’s resting, here, between an Ashford traddy and a Little Gem.

She is wonderful, but she is also hard on those hands, and am I being fair to her?

She’s actually 30 this year, but in spinning wheel years she’s probably about 500 given the level of usage. All the hauling in and out of a Toyota Corolla – no 4x4s here – isn’t that good for her, really.

And there’s this tempting me from afar:

Er, from the Forest of Dean. It’s a Louet Julia, and it’s waiting in the wings. Not actually this specific one – this particular wheel was at Wonderwool Wales, where I had a good old go on it and got thoroughly hooked. I’ve been watching out for a second-hand one but they don’t exist; once people have got Louets they seem to hang on to them through thick and thin (guess that depends on the ratio, ho ho – spinning joke, don’t worry about it). No, my particular wheel is being packed up even as I type, ready to be despatched by Forest Fibres tomorrow. I should get her on Tuesday.

I wonder if my wheels will get on?

Anthropomorphise, moi? Surely not.


10 thoughts on “I’ve just lost my mind – or have I?

  1. Lydia

    Oh, dear little spinning wheel! Time to move on to sleeker companions and happier hands!! What a lovely story. Thinking about it just about every spinning wheel has a tale to tell – they meet new people, they travel, they get swelter in the sun and shiver like yours on the square, they share your home, they sit in dusty, dark places for very long times and then emerge for a spin and polish to be loved again. They have history aplenty, even newer more slinky models are just waiting in the wings for their turn. Enjoy your new wheel – what a beauty.

    1. kate Post author

      I couldn’t bear not using my old wheel at all, but I certainly think she deserves a rest from all those car journeys. I suspect I’ll just end up with different fibres on different wheels!

      You are so, so right about wheels. There was one in a local antique dealers that came with bits and pieces – all wrapped up in a newspaper from the 1920s, evidently the last time it had been used. It got to me and I nearly weakened, but it wasn’t cheap and it was a Hebridean, which I didn’t want. I’m sure it found a home with someone who would bring it back to life, it was so touching… you do wonder, don’t you, about all those other spinners?

    1. kate Post author

      So right. Except, fortunately, my friends’ drive bands don’t fall off at the drop of a hat. Oh, I don’t know…

  2. Guzzisue

    I have two wheels, sometimes three if a guild wheel decides to lodge with me but the one getting the most use is the most portable one, for some reason I seem to spin far more away from home presumanly because there are fewer toys (sewing machines/inkle loom) to distract me when I’m sat in a cafe/pub, The sonata could tell you tales of going on buses, trains, camping, caravanning.spinning in punk rock pubs, galleries, craft fairs and bars…maybe it should have its own blog!!

    1. kate Post author

      I think I’m grateful that Betty doesn’t have her own blog (she thinks this one is hers, anyway) as I’m sure it would consist of much grumbling about her owner. Mind you, at least she’s not been in a punk rock pub – just the local. And she was with a friend, a Lendrum…

      Ok, now we both sound quite bonkers. I’m going to go and lie down…

    1. kate Post author

      I’ve had so much fun that my hands hurt. Oh well, off to be bullied by the physiotherapist. The worst of it is, she’s right. It’s the M word. Moderation. Booooooo.


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