Here’s a conversation I think Dru must be getting sick of hearing:
Me: “Hey Dru…”
Him: “Yes Em?”
Me: “There’s a SPINNING WHEEL in our livingroom!”
That’s right, folks, a spinning wheel in my very own living room! I barely can believe it, for all that I’ve had this lovely Ashford Elizabeth wheel since Saturday night.
I don’t know how to write about it and its acquisition. I want to tell you the details, and I want to make a (pseudophilosphical) point too. I suppose I haven’t yet found my authorial “voice” (but best leave that for another post, eh?).
Here’s how I came to have a spinning wheel in my livingroom (!):
On Saturday Dru and I went to an SCA event, a day of volunteer-run classes geared towards teaching the public various medieval knowledges/skills. There was a course on using hand-carders and combs, so I really wanted to go just for that, but otherwise just wanted to see some newly-joined young ladies to pass on some CDs of ballads to them. Now, for all that the flake-factor can be pretty high, there are some things about the SCA that I really love, most notably the “learning by doing” attitude, coupled with a great amount of willingness to teach/share. I slept in Sat. morning, and so missed the fiber-prep class; I ran into the instructor in the halls, and spent about 3 hours in the afternoon getting a recap/private lesson, sitting on the floor surrounded by sharp combs, handmade spindles, and bags of fleeces. (See: very open and encouraging folks here!)
That would have been enough to make my day a success, but after playing with fleeces to my heart’s content (read: got guilty about happily combing up lots of someone else’s fibre) I broke out my own spindle and went to talk with some people I know. Another woman I know peripherally was sitting with them, working on some stellar embroideries (period/natural/hand-dyed threads!). I didn’t notice it at first, being hidden behind a large embroidery frame, but this lady had a spinning wheel back there, and (of course) when I did see it I excitedly asked her to show me how it works (never having seen a wheel “in action” before). She said sure, and got it set up. She put some roving to the leader, and began spinning; I watched in fascination. After about half a minute she passed the roving over to me and treadled, and then asked, How did I get here? I confusedly answered, Our car. She asked, Was there room in it for this? I looked stupid, and maybe sputtered a bit before catching on and answering, Yes!
Now, we do have a good friend in common, and he does live nearby, about halfway between her and I. But I really do not know her, other than through the SCA. So her offer to loan me the wheel for the next two months or so really has taken me for surprise. I am amazed at her trust, at her willingness to share, at her ability to let something go to help someone who wants to learn. The rest of the day I just spewed “thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou” at her whenever I saw her: her reply was merely, “Don’t mention it.”
And the whole ride home, it was “Dru,there’s a SPINNING WHEEL in our car!”
Now the way I see things, there is a magic that surrounds fibercraft, something that encourages people to be open and free with their knowledges (and supplies!). To pass it on. Like a spinning Wheel, it turns and turns, and with each rotation helps to create something new. I want to learn; what I need comes to me. I want to teach, and so I try to put out what I can, here on this blog and in person. The Wheel of Fortune turns, bringing new experiences, granting things that are needed as they are needed, knowing that you will be its instrument in a future cycle. The fact that I have a spinning wheel on loan for the next few months from a woman that doesn’t really know me has confirmed these things for me. I hope that in some future turning I may do the same.