One other reason that I haven't been blogging so much...
This arrived back in August. The month before I had almost signed up for a two day spinning course at the Weald and Downland Museum in West Sussex. I then realised that the fee for that course plus travel and lunch each day would be better invested in my own wheel...and so it was.
This is an Ashford Traditional wheel from the early 1980's, probably one of the most popular spinning wheel on earth. It was one of the most pleasant eBay experiences I have ever had and I conversed back and forth a little with the seller. She was selling it on behalf of her mother, who now in her nineties, is physically unable to spin anymore. I like second hand objects even more when they come with a backstory, but this made me a little sad. This is already a much loved object in my home and to have given it up after all of those years must have been a sad moment. Still, I was assured that my money would be put to good use and a rare family get together was to be had. Money can sometimes buy happiness.
I decided to name my wheel. I don't know why, but our car has a name (Miguel), my sewing machine has a name (Marlene - another eBay bargain worthy of a post of its own), and so the wheel gets a name - Freya, if you hadn't guessed. We are getting on well enough. A bag of undyed British economy wool, a few hours of book reading and trying to follow instructional videos later and I have just about got the hang of things. It is very relaxing once you get into the rhythm of it.
Like most things, it is great if you have someone to teach you, but unless there is inherent danger in whatever you are trying to pick up, it is usually better to invest in your own equipment and practice practice practice than to splurge on tuition and not have the raw materials to practice with.
The plan for this year is to spin all the yarn that I need for any knitting and crochet I manage to get done. There is so much to learn, so much equipment to acquire as thriftily as possble, so many hours to invest, but it is all a good productive use of my time. Colourful yarn filled adventures...hmmm.