Carolyn Gordon's Story
I’ve been wanting a spinning wheel and to learn how to spin for over a year now. Since I’m a gadget person, I’ve been studying up on wheels for a while without completely understanding what all the parts did, until I actually went through the motions of spinning. Thanks to some friends, I had been learning on a borrowed Ashford Traditional, but I had spun only about 4 oz. when I attended my first GLASG meeting in July. The Wheel Round Robin was being held, and I took the opportunity to watch everyone try many different kinds of wheels.
Even though my nest will be empty in a year or two, I only want one wheel (I’m sure some of you are smiling and shaking your heads right now, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). The huge ratio range and intense spinner-loyalty on Ravelry led me to the Majacraft Rose, plus I love its sheer beauty. I’ve had my eye on it despite the price tag for a long time, but hadn’t seen or tried one in person. The Village Spinning & Weaving Shop in Solvang is a Majacraft dealer. My husband Adam and I considered visiting one of the days of Labor Day weekend, but it turns out they don’t have a Rose to try (and our dog is very difficult to leave alone for an entire day at the moment).
Almost every year I attend the Creative Memories convention in Minneapolis. It occurred to me that there might be time between meetings and trainings to visit a dealer there. I found Detta’s Spindle (dettasspindle.net) half an hour outside the city. Detta Juusola runs her spinning and weaving business out of her home in rural Minnesota. She had a Rose to try and was available during an afternoon I was free! My friend Janet and I rented a car after a morning meeting and made for Maple Plain, MN.
It was hard to believe how quickly the big city disappeared on the short drive. Detta lives in a beautiful country place, and she is such a sweet person. When she welcomed us, she corralled her large standard poodles until Janet and I told her that we were “dog people,” and she introduced us to two very well-behaved and loveable pooches, Pluto and Bonzai. Then she opened the divider to her spinning room. What a wonderful place! Lots of different wheels and clearly a place she loves to spend time. Crowded and comfortable.
Detta smiled and shook her head when I told her I hope to have only one wheel that would serve me well. But she brought out her Rose, sat me down, and introduced us while giving me a spinning lesson. If I wasn’t sold before then, I was sold now. I’m sure I don’t have the clout to claim the Rose spins like a dream, but that’s what it seemed like. While I spun, Detta told Janet and me that she got into spinning because of her dogs. She has had many dogs throughout her life, and started collecting their fur to spin. She showed us a beautiful plaid woven blanket, and each stripe color had been spun from a different best friend. Talk about a treasure.
Downstairs was a shop where Detta had fiber, tools, and videos for sale. I chose a couple of things and we sat at the dining table back upstairs, admiring Detta’s tin-tile-and-wood kitchen, while she wrote me up. We said our goodbyes; Janet and I had just enough time to grab a quick lunch, return the car, change into our fancy duds at the hotel, and get back to the convention center for the evening meeting and banquet!
I think Adam has been planning on getting me a wheel almost as long as I’ve wanted one. He was waiting for the word on which I wanted. Out to dinner on our anniversary, he handed me a gift bag that held: ginger beer and chocolate (favorites of mine), and a box that contained a miniature glittery spinning wheel. My new Rose from Detta should be shipping from New Zealand any day now!