Learning to Spin

The newest addition to our already cozy studio apartment: a handmade spinning wheel. Noah bought it off craigslist last weekend for an early birthday surprise. The woman warned us that it would need a few pieces – a peg to hold up the wheel, a belt – but we were confident we could easily replace any and all of the parts. Niether of us knowing anything about spinning, we were chuffed to have a gorgeous handmade wheel displayed in our apartment.

In calling around to local craft and fiber shops, I realized that spinning wheels are just about the most complicated luddite device to survive the digital revolution. Not only can I not find parts for the wheel, I’ll have to fashion most of them from scratch and adopt all of the available spinning info for my unique wheel. The first line of warning in my teach yourself to spin book? “Do not learn on a handmade wheel.” Awesome. The only indication as to the wheel’s origin is a carving on the underside of the body that reads “Licky ’79.”

Nonetheless, I certainly have plenty of raw materials: two of our farm companions happen to be a mother-daughter team of curious alpacas who are ready for their summer shearing.