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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. I don’t know anything about spinning (yet – will have to learn one of these days), but I like how it looks. If nothing else, it would make a great clothes rack, like that ski machine in the other room…..

  2. Treasure, if only to save the poor girl from the woodpile. Someone loved her in the past, and someone will love her again. I know, I know – you have lots of wheels around the house, and no room for more… methinks you need a bigger house. 😉

  3. OMG!!! What a find! I don’t know much about antique wheels but it’ a beaut! $15.00!!!! Holy Cow!! Put a little Howard Orange Oil & Bee’s Wax on it…
    Looks like all the parts are there and the petal works…if the wheels not warped you’ve gotta working wheel!
    Did you on the underside for any markings?
    WOW—I’m so envious!

  4. Treasure, even if she’s never anything more than an objet d’art. She’ll be happy in your care.

  5. Wow, now you have wheels finding their own way to your house. It’s just a little scary isn’t it. She is a beauty. Have you named her?

  6. Being that I know approximately zero about spinning wheels, you should take my opinion as expert. I think: That is the very spinning wheel that Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on. I can’t believe you only paid $15! With that kind of historic value, it is worth millions.

  7. Yes, flip it over and see if there are any markings there. It may be a little rough because it was exposed to moisture, but a little sanding will smooth it right up. Dale will love doing that for you. 🙂 Yeah, it’s a keeper, for sure. GREAT find.

  8. It looks rough, but if it works, it’s treasure! It’s so interesting looking and unique.

    Also – a day late and a dollar short, but your sock yarn dyeing looks awesome! I’ve only dyed rovings, but your yarn is helping inspire me to try my hand at yarn!

  9. I know nothing about wheels, but I think its beautiful and I’m sure if you can’t use it, someone would love it and enjoy it :)You saved it from a garbage heap, I’m sure.

  10. What an amazing find! We don’t have yard sales where I live – rate of crime is too high to open the yard to strangers. I’m very envious.

  11. Damn. I never find anything even remotely interesting at garage sales and you get this coolness for $15. I say treasure! Hell, at least the flyer and bobbin are present.

  12. Treasure—don’t you wish she could talk? I agree with the commenters who are saying that it was worth $15 to give her a loving home. Why don’t I ever find stuff like that at yard sales? I only see used kids’ clothes and broken VCRs.

  13. If it has been in her family a long time, then it needs some loving home, not a non-fiber friendly muggle group who will just throw gym clothes and blankets over it and use it for another coat rack because they look at it as a corner dust collector. Treasure all the way!

  14. treasure! geez..what a find!
    I was at a yard sale last weekend and was interested in a simple wood coat tree with a broken, yet crudely repaired foot. I offered 5 (nothing had prices on them) and this crazy woman wanted 40.00 for it, “because its old”… goodness, keep it then!

  15. I know nothing about nothing, but I think it’s pretty neat. Of course I’m pre-new to spinning even, so I’d love to find a deal like that to play with. 😀

    It’ll be interesting to see what you think once you give her some love and a spin to see what she does.

  16. Oh, cool. Now that is an awesome treasure to find at a garage sale. I’m with most everyone else in not ever finding anything that cool.

  17. Just on the price alone $15.00 is a steal, particularly given that it works. The actual value would be priceless…I wonder if the woman who sold it knows any of the history. I think it would be great to clean it up and see how it looks. Function wise you already have a couple but you could stoke ‘er up and see how she runs. I do love your SIL; she is pretty special…certainly worth FAR more than $15.00!

  18. I think you should keep a spinning wheel tally/inventory in your sidebar. You know, in case you lose count… 😉

  19. I would say treasure. if you can get it working for less than 100 you have saved tons. I would start by sanding it lightly to expose the wood (which is probably gorgeous) definitly coat it with some oil and beeswax and if there is nothing missing give it a spin see how it works.

  20. Please ask Jen to find me one this weekend. ;^) I was wishing I could stubble upon a wheel last weekend when I drove by a yard sale and saw a Singer treadle in the driveway. What some people are willing to sell…

    I say it’s a great find!

  21. I don’t know much about wheels, but it would have been a treasure in my book because I don’t have one yet! lol What a great sister in law you have!

  22. $15?? and you want to know if you did well??? I’ll give you $25. It is a beauty. Looks like it would be fun to play with. Have fun.

  23. Very interesting! Have you tried it yet? Does it work? The flyer assembly is a bit rustic looking but probably functional. You’ll have to grease up those leather bearings real good though.

  24. It was $15 and it seems to work? That’s a definite treasure, even if you have to put a little money into it to fully condition it. Man, I wish I could find me one like that.

  25. I’m with Margene. For $15 it’s definitely a treasure. Even if you never know much about it, it still has that air of history that says it has a story to tell and that makes it infinitely cool.

  26. Check for markings, and if you find ’em, send pics off to the Spinning Wheel Sleuth. Definitely not trash. (Dude. It’s a spinning wheel. How could you even say that)

    Norwegian styling, but more rustic than they usually come. Very interesting. Clean her up, take more pics, ask the Sleuth. Then tell us all about it. And DAMN I wish things like that would happen to me.

  27. I agree that finding a spinning wheel for $15 is indeed a treasure. After a good cleaning and a coat of wax, if you can’t find a use for it, I’m sure there will be many spinners lined up to give it a good home!

  28. How exciting! Someone like Merlin Tree Dave could tell you a lot about this. Now I need to go back and read your previous 47 comments to see if anyone else has given you some good info.

    What a nice find.

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