I got a new wheel! Yes, yet another wonderful wheel! This one is a vintage Ashford Traditional, just like the one pictured here. It was a sweet deal on Craigslist and came with some very nice Clemes & Clemes hand carders, a navajo spindle (30" tall - so you can spin it off your thigh!), 4 bobbins, an upright kate, a vintage and highly collectible spiral bound copy of "The Essentials of Yarn Design for Handspinners" by Mabel Ross and 4 giant bundles of pre-drafted roving - all for a very good price. Too bad I had to trash the fiber. Not only did it stink of cigarette smoke, but there were remnants of critter contamination - that's right, moths! No way was I going to put my own fiber stash in jeopardy. I tossed all the fiber toute suite... (very fast) Even the fiber spun onto the bobbins had been compromised by those little buggers. The wheel was built between 1975 and 1981 and the fiber looked like it had been sitting on those bobbins ever since.
So, now I'm sure you want to know how I plan to "Pimp my Traddy" (the nickname affectionately given to Ashford Traditional wheels). Well, I've been lucking out left and right in finding low cost accessories. I never realized Ashford wheels could be upgraded and configured so easily.
Here's my "Pimp" plan already in effect:
- New Jumbo flyer with 4 jumbo bobbins
- Three speed flyer (for regular bobbins - gives the old wheel an added speed ratio
- New stretchy drive band (I hate cotton bands - you can feel the knot hitting the flyer)
- New leather connector for the single treadle footman
- And the pièce de résistance, a double treadle upgrade kit!