For many years I was a monogamist spinner. I saw a gal spinning 30 years ago at the San Diego County Fair, and knew I HAD to try this. I proceeded to get an Ashford Traditional kit wheel from a local yarn/fiber shop and armed with the courage of youth and The Joy of Spinning I started a 15 year relationship with this lovely little wheel. I probably would never have moved on to another relationship, were it not for the fact that eventually, with the move to Ohio and humid weather, the drive wheel warped. Divorce was in the air! The wheel would spin ok, but the noise — there is one thing I cannot tolerate is any noise!
It never occurred to me that I should own more than one wheel at time. Get rid of the old to make way for the new. My next marriage was to an S-15. Kit wheels were less expensive, and the action is the same. The S-15 and I had a fairly brief love affair because I could not appreciate all of her qualities to the fullest. I was used to Scotch tension, and she was — Irish! You know the Irish — set in their ways. She wanted to tug more at me, and I was used to a gentle pull, an “ok you can wind onto the bobbin if you really must”. But my little Irish girl was “HEY — gimme that single” and I got tired of her yelling at me.
We were going to patch things up until I met Miss Matchless! Oh — it was love, lust, passion at first treadle. A little shop near Detroit, on the way to see my son in Duluth MN. There she was, beckoning me to give her a whirl — how could I resist??? Well I had never experienced such bliss. I had to have one. Never mind the expense! I was already a divorcee, so a second divorce was an easy thing to accomplish. Ebay brokered the split and Miss Matchless came to live with me.
You know how a potential spouse is so wonderful, easy going and fun to be with before the wedding? Then, after the honeymoon, those annoying bad habits start to surface??? Miss Matchless started giving me guff — in the form of a LOUD thwacking sound. It got so bad that my human spouse started to think I was going deaf, because I would have the T.V. up so loud. Miss Matchless just HAD to dominate all conversations. She was a great spinner, and double treadles were awesome (once you go double, do you ever go back?? — more on that later).
Again, I started contemplating another divorce. After a few conversations with some marriage brokers, I decided to get my next partner, site unseen, and untried, from a big time mail-order bride company. Miss Matchless left the house — again thanks to Ebay, and my little New Zealander Rosie came in. We have been happy together ever since! Rosie can do anything, is quiet and content. Even better she does not mind sharing me with others.
Yes. It all started when I was at a spinning demonstration and one of the spinners had an electric spinner! What an idea. I had advanced to this point to production spinning and electric IS faster. Rosie and I talked it over and she was just fine with having another “Wheel” in the house. The electric spinner Mr. Ash — handled all the big jobs that Rosie would rather not do and we were a happy threesome. Now Rosie could travel, and I even had a nice bag for her, but she would rather not go out of the house — I think she liked Mr. Ash a little too much, so one day while teaching a spinning lesson, Rosie pointed out this nice little Louet Victoria to me. Very compact, weighted just 6 pounds, had her own travel case, and spun very well, emitting this cute little clock like clicking noise — extremely rhythmic — I think she was a drummer in a previous incarnation. Yes, you guessed it — we had another conversation and Vicky came to live with us too. I had to admit it now, I was really a polygamist.
What next? I became a marriage dealer and added a Production wheel, Pretty Poly with her single treadle — which I actually MISSED, and 24″ drive wheel. Easy treadling, nice tightly spun singles, even when I felt like going slow — now that I am so much older, I don’t treadle as fast as I used to. I also brought in a few HitchHiker’s and RoadBugs — Harry, Henry and Ronny — one might stay and be my “beach” wheel, the others will find homes of their own. And, Last but not least, Steady Sally came to the house, a great plying machine, and a wonderful girl for spinning thicker, springy yarns — Yep — my Louet S-10.
The moral to this story? Don’t break up your family with divorce after divorce. Add to the joy, each wheel is a specialist and gives you what you need for that unique project you are working on. Some are better at traveling, some can travel and even face the dangers of the road with aplomb. Some let you work faster, some let you work faster without even trying harder. Some are magical at plying (Steady-Sally for example) and spinning thicker yarns. We all form one big happy family, and yes there is even room in the house for my darling, supportive, enabling HUMAN Husband – Lou.