Sorting out our spinning wheels

For our March meeting, we did our usual thing,

and also had a visit from Clive and Joan Jones of Woodland Turnery. This took the form of a spinning wheel surgery with Clive’s expert help, and an interesting talk about the company’s background from Joan.

They brought along a mouthwatering variety of Timbertops wheels

and an unusual example – a chair-frame wheel:

Before we broke for lunch, Clive performed some urgent repairs to an apparent lost cause (it had been chewed by the dog, wasn’t working anyway – but then it had been lubricated with axle grease – and the owner’s partner ‘was desperate to burn it’). It wouldn’t pull on, and any yarn used became horribly over-twisted.

We won’t name and shame, but maybe there should be a SPCSW – a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Spinning Wheels…

The basic problem was diagnosed (taking into account dogs, unwise axle grease application and partners’ evil intentions) and a perfect Woodland Turnery solution – embodying their commitment to recycling and making do and mending – was found. The whorl was bulked up with some spare fibre.

And it worked!

Joan’s talk was fascinating – taking us through their business from the very start, to their present position where they are sent wheels to repair and work on from all over the world (of course, they do other things – visit them at Wonderwool Wales, where they’ve been exhibiting from the beginning, and see). And people quietly spun,

crocheted or knitted as they listened.

As usual, there was evidence of a variety of woolly crafts, from the delicate

to the more substantial (this detail is of a handy bag to hold a ball of wool as you knit):

Two of our members have just been undertaking their first experiments with acid dyeing, and brought along examples of what they have been doing. They have been bowled over by the amazing colours, both in dyeing yarn

and fluff:

You can almost warm your hands on this bright cheerfulness. Of course, spinning will subdue it somewhat, but – wow! One of the new dyers is our youngest member (9), who dyed the wool she is using here.

She’s also a relatively new knitter, and has just discovered the joy of circular needles (happily she won some in the raffle we have every meeting). Love those blues!

PS:
We were shocked to hear that a fire at Joan and Clive’s workshop early in the morning a couple of days after our meeting destroyed a lot of their stock and equipment – some, fortunately, was at their house. They are still going to Wonderwool (you just can’t keep spinning people down), so everyone please visit them on stand P5 and buy lots of stuff in solidarity!

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