Two weeks ago, my friend Pixie and I worked to restore a spinning wheel that's been in her family for.....well, and unknown number of years, actually. But it has obviously been very, very well used, as is evidenced by all of the replaced parts and worn pieces.
We managed to get it to spin with great difficulty, but it seems that this particular wheel will best live on as a monument to past efforts, as there didn't seem to be a way to get this to work efficiently enough to spin more than a few feet of yarn. But that deep happy feeling of working to restore a tool that has served so many years...that was truly priceless.
Eventually I got some of my drop spindles out, and taught Pixie how to spin on that, because the wheel was clearly not going to be a learning tool.
The look on her face as she spun and plied her very first skein of yarn reminded me why I adore teaching these ancient industrial skills.
A deeply satisfying evening.