Friday, 8 February 2008

Timbertops Leicester

Here is my best spinning wheel. It is approaching it's first birthday and I love it more than ever. It is a very special wheel, built by a master craftsman, and with the special features of double treadle and having the flyer on the right hand side.

It is a Timbertops Leicester wheel, made by James Williamson in the last batch of wheels he was making before retirement. After visiting James and Anne Williamson in September 2006 at their home near Leicester, England,I waited anxiously to discover if James was going to be able to find the wood & parts to make one extra wheel in his last batch. During this time I hedged my bet by purchasing a the second hand wheel, single treadle and flyer on the left, that you have seen before. There was the thought I might sell the second hand wheel if I got the new one, but there are advantages to having two different wheels. Besides, they both spin well and look beautiful, and while I have the space I'm not parting with either of them!

You may have spotted in the photo, just behind the wheel, a black cat. This is Oscar. He's 15 years old, and likes to sit by the wheel when I'm spinning. He did once make the mistake of putting his inquisitive nose up to the turning wheel and I could not stop it fast enough... he hasn't done that again! However, Oscar still likes to sit close to the wheel. He seems to enjoy the sound of it working. He also particularly likes Rachmaninov piano concertos and jazz, so I think his affection for this spinning wheel is another compliment to James Williamson!

This is not a tidy room but it is handy having a fibre stash close to the spinning wheel. Here are a few close ups of the stash:

here are some bags of wool, the bags are sewn form cotton sheeting and are ideal for storing wool as it can breathe. I attach labels to the bags with safety pins as some types of wool look very similar and can be muddled up;

the next picture shows a bagful of the most beautiful coloured Wensleydale fleece. I bought this from Sandy of Yorkshire Woolybacks after shearing last summer, and enjoyed washing it for myself. I intend to comb this wool and spin worsted yarn for weaving;

and here you see a box of fleece beside an overflowing box of handspun yarns. In my first year of spinning I produced a lot of yarn, much of which is not yet used as I was spinning before I started to learn to weave and I have also had to re-learn knitting, as I hadn't knitted anything for about 15 years and had never got beyond odd shaped beginner jumpers of the style that people make jokes about.

It seems appropriate to round off here with one of the few items I have knitted from my own yarn. I love this little beanie, all the wool colours are the natural fleece colours and it is warm and comfortable to wear.


Laritza said...

I have a Timbertops too. It is a Chair Wheel that I adore. Last year I was able to contact him and he had the plying flyer and bobbin. Bought those too. That is one fine wheel maker. Too bad he is getting so old.

ra said...

That's a beautiful wheel; impressive stash too!

Peg in South Carolina said...

I am so so envious!