Another wombled goody…

I’ve had a busy few days, with no time to spare at all.  But today I simply had to take something to the Tip – a mattress pad which had spilt right open in the wash; even I couldn’t come up with another use for that, and it was damp & had started to become rather smelly – and I’m really pleased that I did. Lee called me over and showed me something that had come in shortly after my last visit, last week. “But it’s not complete,” he said sadly…

But what it is, is an Ashford Traditional spinning wheel, in pretty good nick. Not 100% useful without a flyer or bobbins, but the beauty of the Trads is that there are a variety of flyers & bobbins available to fit them, in either single or double drive. They’re still very much in production, so there will be no problem finding them, and as it happens I’m due to go down to Herrings in Dorchester tomorrow anyway, which is the nearest source. The treadle connector was broken, but that’s just a strip of tough leather & was easily replaced, as the drive band will be too. The wheel spins smoothly & looks to be running true, so all in all that’ll be another fine tool rescued from an early grave.

As is the little upright flax wheel that I found sitting in a dark corner of our local market. It’s a pretty little thing, but didn’t look to be in the best shape; the drive band was wrapped around the axle quite inextricably so the wheel couldn’t move smoothly, the treadle pedal was hanging off, and the arm that probably once held a distaff just had two snapped-off dowels poking up. Altogther it looked like adorning a weekender’s inglenook fireplace was the only thing it was fit for, but yet… the flyer is complete and sturdily made, there was an intact bobbin, the orifice looked clean & clear – worth a try, I thought. The price was towards the higher end of what’s acceptable for a non-working wheel, but bang on for a weekender’s ornament. So home it came with me. I had it up & running within an hour; the pedal re-attached perfectly easily and I was able to unscrew the pegs that hold the axle in to remove the mangled drive band. I had some suitable cord to make another, and once I’d reassembled the flyer the right way round and oiled it here & there, it was ready to spin, and very well it does it too! It’s fast & smooth, if a little noisy; well worth trying to find some more bobbins for. I’d spun a small skein within half an hour and took it to show the stallholder the next morning. So cross your fingers for me that Herrings have something in their odd bobbins box; if not I’ll get some made up but that will take some time & cost more.

So that’s what I’ve been up to…

flax wheel
Upright flax wheel by (or from) Leonard Williams of Whitchurch

One thought on “Another wombled goody…

  1. MrsL November 12, 2009 / 7:38 pm

    OOOohhh – nice 🙂

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