19 - 2009

Friday: Estate sale spinning wheel edition

This week, I don’t have much of a wrap-up — somehow I escaped the week with few links to show for it. So instead, I’ll just focus on fun and crafts.

Last week, I attended an estate sale as an informed buyer. An organization sent out an e-mail that a member was going into assisted living, and her craft items (and various other household goods) were being liquidated.

In the living room, I found this:

It’s a Wee Peggy wheel, made in New Zealand in about 1981.

She didn’t quite look like that when we found her. The mother-of-all (the whole top part) was off, hanging cockeyed by the tangled-up drive band. Another spinner said she had tried to turn the wheel and it stuck, but I think it was just the band wrapped in the wheel. I was hesitant to buy it, but Mr. Cheap knows me well enough to know I would regret it if I didn’t, so he patiently untangled the band while I pawed through the boxes of yarn to bring home this:

It’s a collection of handspun yarn dyed with natural materials, rather old. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it, but I’ll think of something. It might be good for a learning weaving project — I’m wanting to abscond with Mlle. Cheap’s little loom to see if I like it.

I also found these among the homeowner’s (possibly home-woodworked) collection:

On the left is a niddy-noddy (yarn skeiner) that adjusts with a thumbscrew to provide different-sized skeins. On the right is a Turkish spindle, which lets you spin and wind up with a center-pull ball of yarn when you’re done (I tried it, but have not mastered it at all).

Immediately after bringing the Wee Peggy home, I sat down and oiled it up, tied a new drive band, tightened a few screws and started spinning. The online buzz is that it’s very good for fine spinning, and that is so true:

It’s a sweet little wheel, will be nice and portable, looks pretty in the living room, and best of all in Mlle. Cheap’s opinion, she is able to treadle it, unlike my other wheel. Just seeing it at home got her motivated to spin, so she picked up a spindle and cranked out yards and yards of yarn last week.

I also bought several cones of yarn (wool and mohair) and a 1/2-pound cone of a cotton or cotton/silk blend.

The timing was perfect, as I spent Saturday afternoon teaching a few people from my daughter’s school how to make yarn on a drop spindle. (The school auction focused on experiential gifts this year, so that lesson was my personal auction donation.) Then on Sunday, we traveled to the Estes Park Wool Market for some shopping, touching, animal-viewing and general crafty inspiration.

The cheap hobby question …

Coincidentally, given my focus (and spending) on hobbies this week, one of my online friends today asked, “What is a cheap hobby? Does such a thing exist?”

I’m not sure spinning qualifies as cheap, although it can be made so by choosing less expensive tools, buying raw fiber and processing it yourself.

Do you have an inexpensive or money-saving hobby? If so, tell us about it!

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