Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It is just amazing

I remembered my password. Ok, total disclosure, I didn't remember it, my computer did. :/

It would be silly, foolish, and utterly impossible to explain all the whys and wherefores regarding the comatose state this blog has been in for so very long so I won't. Suffice to say life has gone on as it will and does. Have there been changes in my life? You bet. Will I begin to blog again on regular basis? Um, that remains to be seen (was it ever regular before). Do I think I'll be blogging? Yeah, prob'ly, maybe, I'm pretty sure, I think.

Shall we begin?

Dear Readers, if any of you are still out there, please be assured that the pursuit of all things fibery is alive and well here at the Hermitage. I spend my days much as before, under the spell of all things stringy, lofty, and linear. Knitting is still the priority around here but I have fallen head first and deeply into the world of spinning. Yeah sure I was spinning before, but lately my head has been turned and I've been lusting for and to be honest rescuing antique spinning wheels.

My first rescue was mid-September of 2010. A cute little Saxony wheel I found by chance on Craig's List. I mentioned the little cutie to Joe. His response was something in the order of, 'that's not too far away, let's go get it', so we did. (I know, I know, I have wonderful husband)

I don't know much about this little wheel other than it is typical of the southern Pennsylvania wheels made around the early 1900's. The family history on the wheel tells me it came from Kentucky in 1924.

Those of you with a keen eye will notice that one of the leathers was broken and I had to replace it. Other than that he/she spins like a dream. The picture above is one taken the day I got him/her. Since that day I have replaced the leathers and given him/her a few "spa treatments" (an oil rub down) Sorry I don't have a pic of just how beautiful he/she looks now. Ha! I guess I didn't think this blogging thing through today. :/

The next addition to the Hermitage was 2 weeks later. Yes, yes, I know, I had just bought a wheel, but oh this little cutie (also found on craig's list) was just too cute to let go by. Granted it was in Nashville and I'm not anywhere near Nashville, but I do have a BIL there. So yeah, he got the wheel for me and shipped her to me.

Meet Itty Bitty Betty

Such a teeny tiny cutie! Granted NOT an antique wheel but oh so cute and....extremely portable! There are a couple of us in the Antique Spinning Wheel group on Ravelry that have this exact wheel. The stories we've heard from the sellers make us think this is a wheel that was made in the 60' or 70's for the tourist trade in Germany. The fact that three of these wheels have shown up on the Nashville craig's list makes me think there was a tour to Germany in the 60's/70's and a several of the people on the tour brought one home as a decorator piece. lol

Betty spins well, not fabulous, but well and she fits my needs to a tee. My Friday Lunch knitting group recently expanded to include a Friday Breakfast spinning group and Betty goes without a fuss. Please gloss over the fact, cuz it sounds a little crazy, that on occasion, I can be found in a restaurant in town for upwards to 6 hours on any given Friday.....um....yeah....never mind.

The next new addition to my flock came 2 months later in November. yet another craig's list find up around Chicago where Bart just happened to be for the weekend for a new gallery opening which is carrying his glass----yep a mom brag. So he picked her up and bought her to me.

My Scandinavian Beauty

A pic of the day she came home. Yes, she is in terrible shape, and it is doubtful I'll ever really get to spin much on her but she has potential. Sorry again about no recent photos she looks so much better after her spa treatments, but she's a work in progress and will be for a long time. The only thing I say about this wheel is that she has had a long a loving life. Who ever had her before cared for her well and used her often (I am referring to the people who actually used her and knew her well and not the people who forgot about for the last 50 years). At one point her wheel support bearings were replaced, the material of choice used to repair her was a Finnish coin dated 1922. Another repair to her I'm sure was done lovingly but, perhaps without an eye toward aesthetic, was the replacement leg they gave her.

It's there behind Ben, but notice how delicate the old girl's original legs are compared to....

Um yeah, that would be an axe handle. LOL I love it. Spokes so delicate they are slimmer than a pencil, and a prosthetic limb fashioned from an axe handle. LOL

Had enough of my flock of wheels yet? Well perhaps just one more, I promise, just one more.

I got this one over Holidays.

It's Canadian Production Wheel, the maker was Eugene Benoit. He/she spins like a dream, and is, yet another craig's list find.

I know, it all sounds rather obsessive doesn't it. I now have 5 wheels in my flock (not counting the treadle sewing machine wheel I made), 4 of which are in perfect working order. Most are still in need of some more spa treatments, for their ultimate beauty to shine, thus the reason of no current photos (such poor blog planning tsk tsk) but what the hey, you just got another taste of the crazy that is rampant and the norm here at the Hermitage, what more could you ask for?

And now on to the burning questions.
Why so many wheels?
It's not like I planned on have a flock of wheels, they all just sorta fell into my lap. Granted they all came from craig's list and that sounds a bit like I was actually searching for them but in truth, I was really just kind of curious what was out there and available and wanted to learn about antique wheel (modern wheels leave me kinda cold). All of these wheels cost next to nothing so that wasn't anything to consider. The added bonus of actually having to revive, if not restore them was an appealing task also.

Will there be more wheels?
Maybe, maybe not. I've filled all the niches of my wheel desires for the moment. Sure there are other wheels of different types I'd consider adding to the flock, and if one or more of them fall into my lap then so be it, but I'm not actively looking for wheels. Well, um, at least not any more so than I was before. ;)

Will I ever sell these wheels?
Prob'ly not, but that's not to say I won't ever give them away. I'm not doing this for any reasons other than to learn more about antique wheels, and have fun doing it. I like rescuing these wheels and restoring their dignity. Be honest, haven't you ever gone to an estate sale or a garage sale and bought something you didn't really need just cuz you couldn't bear the thought of it going into the trash? It's the same kind of thing, the wheels just take up more space. :P

What does Joe say about all this?
Not a lot. He thinks they are beautiful, impressed with the restorations, and I'd be willing to bet he's pretty thrilled with the notion that all of these wheels put together don't even amount to a quarter of the $$ a new wheel would cost.

So there you have it, a recent peek at life at the Hermitage. Nothing surprising I'd guess, for those who know me, you gotta admit there's always been and always will be something obsessively going on around here, that's just how I roll and spinning wheels are just the latest flavor.

Talk to ya soon.


  1. Nice to hear a peep from you! Wow- all those spinning wheels! That's great! So, are you still spinning too? ;o)

  2. Wow, you're really hooked! I love all the wheels. I just collect spindles; no room for wheels.

  3. Wow those are gorgeous wheels. I wish I could find one on Craigslist your good luck gives me hope though.

  4. Tracy!!! Good to hear from you... Love the wheels! Jealous by their beauty. I actually got an Ashford Kiwi for Christmas... I know... a modern wheel....I actually looked for awhile for an antique wheel (with help from someone "in the know") but we couldn't find one that would be easy enough for a beginner to spin on...and I got impatient ;-) maybe someday an antique will grace this house...

  5. You realize, of course, you now have a spinning wheel stash.

  6. That first wheel looks just like the one my grandpa made. Oh I can't wait for you to see it. Your excitement is contagious.