Today was the first annual Midsummer’s Spin In & Fiber Festival held at the Community Hall in Wren, Oregon, and what an event it was! I hope the organizers were pleasantly surprised at how many Wooly Bears showed up to spin, chat and spend their hard-earned Fiber Budgets.
Rebecca (left in yellow) and Awana (right in yellow) came over from the Coast for the day. Myrna (facing away in blue,) still a Muggle but very close to assimilation, hung out, getting her head filled with fiber information and fondling the fleece selections available on every hand.
The usual suspects were there, including Connie with Spindlewood –
And Janice who’s picture turned out too blurry to post (sorry, Janice!) Linda and Paul were there with a pair of alpacas and a pair of Shetland sheep, representing Goat Knoll in Dallas –
The Bellweather Wool Company, Mountain Shadow Ranch, and some new-to-me vendors including Kings Valley View Farm, Karl Smiley and his lovely yarn bowls, StitchJones, Creekside Fiber Mill and Three Fates Yarns and many others, but I got distracted.
There wasn’t time enough to talk to everyone and take pictures of every booth because near the entry door was Bonnie Albright and her Irish spinning wheels. I passed right by, giving them only an admiring glance because they are always way over my budget and there’s no sense drooling on something you just can’t have, right?
Myrna asked for some advice about spinning wheels and fiber and I took her on a tour of the vendors outside, stopping to point out the little Irish wheels. One look at the price tag and I said offhandedly, “at this price it must be a reproduction,” and we were walking on by when a voice behind me said, “No! Those aren’t reproductions! They came from Ireland and that’s the real price. The wife is de-stashing!”
Well, huh. We stopped and took a closer look. One of the wheels had a lovely black patina to it, intricate turnings, a distaff and some bright red yarn on the bobbin. Pretty soon Bonnie was at my side telling me that she bought the wheel in an antique store in Dublin, packed it in a box and carried it home on the plane. She asked if I wanted to give it a spin and there was her husband with a chair and I was lost.
Not only is she beautiful to look at, but she’s also fully functional, spinning smooth, with nary a wobble, churning out the lace -weight singles with no more effort than a leisurely stroll down the beach on a sunny day.
I walked away because, although the price was a steal, I live in very small quarters and already have a wheel that does its job very well and has been my Only Wheel for nigh on twenty years now. We’re good friends, we know what we can create together and we are quite comfortable.
I went back inside to finish turning the heel on my latest sock project and found Rebecca telling Awana that she was dying to get a wheel but didn’t know what kind to get and…I tuned her out about then because a Plan appeared in my head, full-blown and demanding to be put into action.
“Hey! I have an idea!” I declared.
Heads swiveled in my direction. “How about I loan Rebecca my Ashford Traditional to learn on and I go out and buy that little Irish wheel out there? I don’t have room for two wheels, so it’s a win-win, right?”
“I could justify wheel-sitting!” Rebecca declared. “It’s only a loan so my sons couldn’t say anything about me getting yet another Hobby Accessory!”
We made plans to meet up next weekend for the hand off and the lovely Irish wheel came home with me –
I should be doing something more productive, but instead I’m getting to know the new wheel, spinning up some angora/alpaca/merino fiber as the sun goes down. Curtains will have to wait. The blinds will do for another day. Or week…