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One Spinner’s Trash . . .

The Scene: The kitchen at Chez Carole Knits on the morning of Memorial Day. Carole is unloading the dishwasher. The phone rings.

Carole: Hello?
SIL Jen: Hi Carole, It’s me, Jen and I’m at a yard sale. They have one of those things you use.
Carole: Things I use? Huh?
SIL Jen: You know – the thing with the wheel that goes around. You have a bunch of them at your house.
Carole: A spinning wheel?
SIL Jen: Yes! I couldn’t remember what it was called. Anyway, they have one and it’s $15. You want me to buy it for you?
Carole: Well, what does it look like? Is it huge? It could be a great wheel and I wouldn’t want it if it is.
SIL Jen: Let me ask the lady what she knows about it. (muttering in the background) All she knows is that it’s been in her family for a really long time and someone moved away and gave it to her.
Carole: Does it work?
SIL Jen: She says it does. I’m putting my foot on the pedal and the wheel is going around.
Carole: That’s a good sign. And if there’s a foot pedal then it’s not a great wheel. Hmmm. How’s the wood? Is it in good shape?
SIL Jen: Carole! It’s wood for crying out loud. How do I know if it’s in good shape? Do you want me to buy it or not?
Carole: Sure, go ahead and buy it. $15 isn’t much to lose if it’s crap.

Carole goes back to unloading the dishwasher and starts making potato salad. Fifteen minutes later SIL Jen pulls in the driveway and unloads this:





Carole: It’s quite interesting. It’s very primitive and the wood is rough and not finished well it all. It’s really in need of cleaning. But it appears to work and there is probably quite a story behind this wheel. I think I’ll go email Marcy.
SIL Jen: So did I do good? Are you happy with it?
Carole: I’m not sure yet. But I’m really curious. My blog friends will know more. Thanks Jen.

Marcy and I have drawn a few conclusions but most of this remains a mystery. What do you all think? Trash or treasure?

This Post Has 73 Comments

  1. Tie a drive band on ‘er and find out! 🙂

    It looks promising. The flyer and bobbin are both there, and that’s an important start!

  2. I can’t believe you had to ask more questions after her initial statement that it cost $15! It’s gotta be worth that much (even in a completely nonworking state) to somebody like a LYS owner? Good luck with it! (oh, and you are among those inspiring me to dye a bit this summer…including overdying…if I get some time!).

  3. Omce you get her spinning you’ll know. :0]
    She looks interesting. A bit like some Norwegian table wheels I’ve seen pics of. The Mother of All and orifice orientation look fine. I bet the ratio is quite high too. Double drive by the looks of her.
    I’d sand and oil her, and set her up to spin. I think it’s nice to rescue an old workhorse production wheel. It’s interesting to see how refined modern wheels are, and how spoilt we spinners are. I look forward to future tales.

  4. I’ve never even seen a spinning wheel up close, so I unfortunately have no advice. But, I’m curious as to how it compares to the wheels you already have. Do they look like it or are they more modern? Has spinning wheel technology changed over the years?

  5. Treasure…heck Drop spindles cost more than that and some of them don’t spin well! Like the others say, critical parts seem to be there. I’ve purchased a couple of ‘old’ wheels here in Europe and they need ‘tightening’ in the joints. It might be because they’ve been hauled around to various bazaars before I bought them. I hate to see something unloved. Comes from my grandmother who couldn’t stand to see anything useful wasted. I Will have to stop collecting as I’ve got one very functional wheel and 4 others in various stages of usability. Give your SIL a hug, money, brownies, whatever she will want more of and send her out again!

  6. It falls into the treasure category. Dave Paul could do any rehab necessary (probably doesn’t need much if it spins and will be cleaned).

  7. I know absolutely nothing about spinning. But as an antique? $15 is cheap. It’s lovely…and I’m green with envy!

  8. I need to start going to garage sales!! I ran into a woman this past weekend who found an Ashford Traditional at a garage sale for $17!!
    That’s a pretty nice SIL you have there.

  9. I don’t know much about antique wheels, but hey, for $15, it’s worth cleaning it up a bit, and giving it a whirl.

  10. It’s a spinning wheel so that makes it treasure! Can’t wait to see what your sleuthing uncovers. I can see it now: Nancy Drew and the Spinning Wheel Mystery.

  11. Carole, you must be the most frugal person in New England! 🙂

    I will never spin, card, blah blah blah but for $15 I would three of em!!

  12. I had one given to me that looks quite familiar, and they didn’t know much about it except they thought it was made in oregon in the early or mid 60’s ….looks almost identical…it proved to be not quite as smooth as my dt louet, so I gave it away to a woodworker/spinner who has yet to do anything with it…but it does look exactly like that one…hope this helps…c

  13. fifteen dollars??? whoa… how cool. Nice SIL 🙂
    I don’t know what it is, but I think it’s a bunch of fun. Wheels are like earrings you know, one can never have too many. Maybe you can park it at the library on display, and hold a guessing contest as to it’s era ?

  14. Are you joking? You must be joking. Please tell me you’re joking. It’s a definite treasure. But if you don’t like it, I’ll give you $20 for it…. wait a second, I don’t spin.

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