Friday, 12 August 2016

Meet Roberta, my spinning saviour!

A few years ago a good friend of mine, Babylonglegs, got me into spinning.  I tried out her Louet S10 and loved it so I bought my own Louet S15.  It was so therapeutic turning the fluffy clouds of wool fibre into squishy multicoloured yarns but one thing was holding me back - pain.  I didn't know it at the time but I had Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder which causes hypermobile joints and pain (along with lots of other unpleasant symptoms).

I found it difficult treadling with my right knee and the pain almost made me quit spinning but I don't give up that easily.  I traded my S15 in for a very pretty Louet S51 DT, hoping that using both legs on the double treadle would ease my pain.  Sadly for me it didn't and my lovely spinning wheel and my stash of fluffy fibre have sat unloved for the past few years.

I really missed spinning and I was determined to find a way to continue my hobby.  I researched electric spinning wheels (no treadling required!) but they were all very expensive, ranging from £430 for an Ashford E Spinner to over £1000 for a Hansen Mini Spinner.  They were all out of my price range so I scoured buy and sell groups and checked eBay every day for months until this one electronic wheel appeared.  An Ertoel Roberta.

The seller didn't seem to know much about spinning, the wheel looked in really bad shape but from the photographs it looked like all the important bits were there.  The starting bid was £20, which is incredibly low considering they sell new in America for $1,095.  I watched the auction until the very last few minutes and I put in my bid.  I didn't think I was going to win, I was convinced someone was going to outbid me and I prepared myself for disappointment but when the countdown ended I was the highest bidder at £129.77!

I did my happy dance and then patiently waited for my parcel to arrive.  And this is what I got.

After doing some research I discovered she's about 30 years old and made in Australia.  Cosmetically she needs a little TLC.  The lacquer is peeling off the woodwork and the orifice hook holder is broken but there is nothing that can't be fixed.

The flyer is a little rusty and slightly bent so that will need replacing with a modern jumbo flyer, one of the bobbins rattles a little and the leather bearings have seen better days but everything else is in good working order.

I'm back spinning and I couldn't be happier :)

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