11 November 2010

Of ballwinders and sentimentality

My first ball winder came to me unexpectedly.  I had been eyeing them in the LYS and on eBay for almost three years but no matter where I looked they came with a hefty price tag for being just a piece of pastic and metal.  So I resigned myself with a sigh to 'one day...'. 

At the Southern Select Alpaca Show earlier this year I happened to be in the right place at the right time when an older gentleman came into the collaborative store pulling a big cart which was laden with fiber, tools and equipment.  Striking up a conversation with him, I learned that unfortunately the products belonged to his late wife who had unexpectedly passed away from cancer, and he was destashing her things.  A sad story, and even sadder that he was now disposing of all her things.  Patiently I waited for him to unload his cart and set everything up on the table - everything was unpriced and for a moment I feared that he knew nothing about these items and that someone would come and take full advantage of that.

It was then that I met his sister in law, she was very knowledgable indeed and she sold me an Ashford Knitters Loom for $100.00 (yay, I had been wanting a loom for the longest time although I truly had no idea how to warp it and it had no instructions) AND the forever elusive ballwinder... for $15.00.  To boot, she tearfully presented me with a book on creative spinning at no charge, telling me that her sister would have wanted me to have it.  I stood hugging her for the longest moment, how difficult it was for them to have to deal with all of this.  Needless to say, the loom, the ballwinder and the book are very much cherished and have special meaning to me.

And now, having recently become a Strauch dealer, I have new ball winders coming.  TODAY, in fact.  Big, handmade, wooden ones... they are on the UPS truck for delivery even though it's a public holiday and therefore I was not expecting them. Therefore, my little plastic one will be officially retiring from my studio, after having waited so long for it. 

Funny how we fiber artists get sentimental about such things...

image (c) 2010 Strauch Fiber Equipment