He's had a hard time deciding what wheel I wanted. *g* I keep telling him - I'm Easy; anything he makes will be perfect! (And it's true - he is a veritable artist when it comes to wheels, and I will absolutely LOVE whatever he sends me.)
(And, yes, for those playing along - we had this same discussion Last year, and Again in January.) He just can't quite wrap his brain around that simple fact.
The wheel? It started out (2.5 years ago, give or take a few months) as a "packer" wheel. He balked; told me I didn't really want *that* and would hate it. I said no, I *needed* a smaller, portable wheel to replace my Ashford Joy (nice wheel, but I hate it because it is not my AA Scottish wheel). He reluctantly agreed, quoted me a price, and I mailed off the check. Well, months passed. I called. He hemmed, he hawed, then finally (January '04) told me exactly what he would make for me if I insisted: a double-treadle (ick), double wheel (Ick) accelerated wheel. (Urf) No, thanks, I said.
So, he suggested an Irish Castle Wheel. Now, I already have a Scottish Castle wheel (you can see my collection if you click on the bunny, then click the spinning sheepie, then go to the wheels page - I'm too lazy to type out the link.), so I agreed to *think* about it.
3 days later, I called him and said OK...he then said that I really didn't *Need* an Irish Castle, it would be redundant. How about a Brunswick wheel? After ascertaining it would only take a few weeks for it to arrive, I said Yes - I am patient, but I want my new wheel!
I've called a few times since then - the "updated" arrival was set for mid-September '04 (I have 2 demos I do in October). Well, he missed it, but he had health problems, and house problems. I *have* an AA, so it's cool - I just don't like hauling the Scottish lady out, because she is too pretty to be mauled by the unwashed masses.
Today, I called. He's working on a wheel just for fun; a reproduction early 17th century Norwegian Saxony. It's based on an antique they had come thru the shop for repairs - it's the real thing. The owner has provonance and everything. Alden was quite impressed with the whole set-up, and decided to reproduce it so he could add things to his arsenal of tricks. He asked if I was interested...
I asked how long it would take....when he said a couple of weeks, I said YES, please, I'd like one of those.
So, my packer wheel has morphed into an Irish Castle/Brunswick/Norwegian Saxony. We'll see........
The thing is, I prefer castle wheels. I like their lines, I like their small footprint, I like that they are different from the sterotyped spinning wheel. However, I'm tired of all the "What's that thing?" and "Are you sure *that's* a spinning wheel? It don't look like my Gramma's wheel!" that I get on a regular basis. (It does beat the "what's that thing? Look, Ma - she's Weaving yarn!" that comes at least *once* every demo.) However, I had resigned myself to it back in '04 when he first brought up the Brunswick. (He's been trying to get me a Saxony-type since 2000, when I ordered my Scottish Castle. He's persistant! *g*)
Now, we wait and see. I warned him I'd be calling in a month if I hadn't received it - he chuckled and said he understood. *g* He also knows about my 2 Oct. demos......I hope he comes thru; if not, it'll be my Castle to the rescue.
And, for the record, I'm not upset or angry or anything like that. I *am* willing to wait on him - he is an artist, and his wheels are well worth the wait. He makes each wheel by Hand - no machine stamped out parts from him! He even hand forges the oriface and footman!
The test of an efficient wheel is to treadle it up to speed, then remove your foot and count the wheel revolutions. I think it needs to hit 150 to be considered efficient....my Scottish wheel? Hit 250 before I quit counting. (Yes, that's 250 revolutions Without being Treadled!) Yeah, I'm willing to wait for more of that! (my Ashford Traveler barely hit 125 when I tested it.......)