Spinning wheels – do they find people?

Spinning wheels – do they find people? I begin to think that some might have their own agenda. The wheel being used here is a flax wheel, they are not very popular with modern spinners as the orifice is so small that only very fine yarn can be spun on them. They are great for flax – but not many spinners, particularly beginners whom I mostly teach, want to spin flax.

The wheel arrived *uninvited at my studio door (*it was very welcome all the same) last year. It belonged to the mother of a friend of a neighbour who had never used it other than as an ornament and she no longer had space for it.  I had no use that I could see for it either, but as I run a free stable for orphaned spinning wheels I welcomed it in, but with no real hope of ever seeing it put to use. My neighbour’s friend didn’t want to sell the wheel, but was just looking for a home for it. So I left it sitting in my studio, just to make it feel welcome…

Two days later on 3rd June, one of my pupils came for her final lesson and to return the wheel she had borrowed. She had no real hope of being able to afford at wheel at that time, but  just wanted to learn to spin. She had only had one lesson the previous month and I had not seen her in-between times as she live over an hours’ drive away.

Much to my delight and joy she was spinning really well and looked absolutely on top of the job, chatting and spinning at the same time which is always a good sign. It is  such a joy when this happens. But alas she couldn’t afford a wheel at this particular time in her life. I knew that feeling only too well and can remember the longing I had for a wheel and how hopeless the thought of having my own seemed.

The newby flax job, the one whose previous owner was just looking for a home  for it, was still sitting quietly in the corner of the studio where my neighbour had left it. With hindsight,  I think it might have been pursuing its own agenda and sitting there wishing ‘Me!’ Me, What about me!.  I suggested my pupil try it  – not thinking for a moment she would be able to spin on it as I had tried and knew it was not an easy deal. The wheel was small, and hence more difficult to keep going, and the orifice and hooks so tiny and sure to catch at the first bit of free fibre.

I left the pair of them, wheel and pupil,  on their own to see if they might get on. They were a match made in heaven. She could spin on it no problem and was so happy. So was I. So was my neighbour to whom she wrote a little thank you note, and I guess, so was the wheel.

I have not heard from either of them since, I hope they lived happily ever after… as I say, I sometimes wonder if wheels find new owners…