Friday, November 14, 2014


I inherited this wonderful vintage spinning wheel this past summer.
I have been spending time trying to track down the maker (I. Nagy), and information about the wheel.

I have the date it was made (1971), and where (Wellington, New Zealand).

I searched the internet and found a woman in New Zealand who is keeping a database of these wheels.
I sent her an email, and even copied the letter I have from the maker to the previous owner.
It is all too exciting.

Maybe I will find its long lost siblings? Or parents? (I did!)

Maybe I will find a skeleton in the closet, or a secret? (Yup, that too!)

Apparently Mr. Nagy was a salami-type sausage maker and then met a spinning wheel builder (John Beauchamp) and wanted to learn to make wheels. Mr. Beauchamp told him he wouldn't teach him to make wheels until he learned to spin. Sensible advice, no? He huffed off, borrowed a wheel, and learned to spin and once he could produce a decent skein he was taught the trade. He made over one thousand wheels and his name is well-respected in the spinning world.

It is just all too exciting.

Meanwhile I am learning to hand card, and spin and ply. I have learned about fractal spinning (see? more math geek stuff), and Andean hand-plying. I have a raw fleece spread out on the floor of my craft room. It still needs more cleaning, but it is already much softer and cleaner.

My knitting projects are getting jealous.

My twenty year old cross stitch project has seen the light of day - but only for a minute - because the spinning wheel keeps whispering to me.

I love spinning. I love the sound of the wheel, and now that I don't curse as much, I love how my thoughts can flow with the rhythm of the treadle.

I love the math of it. The ratio of the wheel to the whorl. Maybe I am also a physics geek.

I love the transformation of the yarn once it is washed - how soft it becomes.

I am learning to play with colours. I am learning about shades and tones and tints.

I told my son that I thought I was becoming a witch. That isn't what I meant.

What I meant was I am becoming a crone.

Becoming a crone all thanks to the ancestry of a vintage spinning wheel. A gift from a good friend.

She has a good home now. I take her out once a week to class and she seems to like the long car ride.

I know I appreciate her company.


  1. I am very envious! I love imagining the history of objects, even as simple as who the owner was, or what they did. I hope to learn to spin one day, it's so magical to me.

    1. I resisted for a long time, but when this wheel fell into my lap, well, I had to go with it, and I am so glad I did.

  2. Everything has a story to tell people like you who listen! Live the fairytale...

    1. hopefully I won't piss off the 13th fairy and fall into a sleep for a hundred years!


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