I remember the first time I laid eyes upon her sitting in the shop. We’d just begun our hunting, and our budget was extremely limited. Beth wanted a spinning wheel to learn to spin on. She wanted something used, something simple, something that would be friendly to a first-time wheel spinner. We’re fortunate in that we live in a city with a textile center that often sells used wheels. Even the most basic of wheels can set you back a few hundred dollars new; we couldn’t even manage $200.
She was plain to look at. A single treadle, basic cotton drive band, a standard mother-of-all. Her spokes were plain, her wood slightly dull from disuse, but her wheel wasn’t warped, and she looked . . . approachable. The price tag and the reputable brand name didn’t hurt, either. We walked out of that shop with a vintage Ashford spinning wheel for under $150, and called it good.
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