I donated my well-loved and well-used Ashford spinning wheel to the thrift shop today. I seemed to have lost the knack for spinning and my kids--although they had fond memories of this wheel--had no place for it. Besides, it really needed a home where it would be used for spinning, and not just for display.
My favorite local thrift/charity shop, Rock of Ages, agreed to take the wheel, all my spinning tools, and three large bags of wool, silk, angora, llama, and alpaca fibers. I hope that someone will buy it all and will use the wheel for many years. It would be a wonderful Christmas gift for the right person.
I ordered the wheel in 1975 from the Ashford Company in New Zealand. It came as a kit which I put together myself. It was a great learning experience and I was always glad that I knew every part of my wheel, its name and function and how everything went together. I kept the directions all these many years.
Here I am, back in the day, spinning with a group in a park in Sumner, Washington. At that time, I was an early member of The Moonspinners, a spinning guild that met in the evenings. I also co-owned (with my friend, Marj) a spinning and weaving shop in Sumner called The Country Weaver.
This shawl was my last big project--hand spun, hand dyed, and knit of soft wool. You can follow the whole process in this post, From Sheep to Shawl.