5KCBWDAY4 (Thursday 15th May): Conversations Between Workers.
Start by writing a few short paragraphs from the point of view of one of the tools you use for your craft. this might be a spinning wheel, crochet hook, pair of scissors or your knitting bag. These first few lines should include a description of this tool’s task and usage. If you are feeling particularly in tune with this item you might assign it feelings.Then, write a dialogue between yourself and this item. It might describe your relationships, the annoyances that you have felt for this item at some point (or could it have possible ever have felt annoyances with you) and the wonderful work that you have created together.
Here we go…
Hello, my name is Morgana and I am a double-treadled Matchless spinning wheel from the Schacht Spindle Company. I came to the little island of Sanday in Orkney from Boulder, Colorado via The Threshing Barn in Cumbria, which was a good thing as it helped my acclimatisation to the damp climate that I now live in. Boulder has a dry mountain atmosphere. Happily, Schacht constructed my wheel to be able to cope with any swelling generated by the change of atmosphere. I am not sure that I would have coped so well without my staging post along the way. Talk about a difference in environment! It could not be more different here to my original mountain home – from 5,000 feet elevation to actual sea level!
The spinning is still the same however. A spinning wheel is a one trick pony, when all be said and done. What I do, I do well, and this makes my companion, Beth, very happy indeed. She says that I make the task easy and tireless too. This makes me blush a little.
Beth named me after the Fata Morgana, because she thought that I was a mirage. She had seen images of me in American magazines and thought me to be beautiful. She never thought that I would come to keep her company and so when her partner arranged my trip over, she could not quite believe her eyes. Besides, as Beth also says, Morgana is a beautiful name for a beautiful wheel – and I am beautiful. There is no sense in false modesty: I am made from the finest grade of kiln-dried hard Maple and Black Walnut. My makers believe in good design and quality traditional craftsmanship and that design and form must follow function. I am fit for purpose but elegant with it.
Beth and I have a great working relationship but if truth be told, we have some work remaining before we become perfectly simpatico. I can tell that sometimes my flexibility confounds her a little after the simplicity of her previous companion wheel, Constance:
Beth: Good morning, Morgana. It’s Monday and we need to prepare for Spinning Group this afternoon. Do you recall where I left your transport wheels?
Me: Good morning, Beth. No, I have no idea where you left my wheels.
Me: Does it really matter? I’m not all that heavy, you can carry me when you feel like it.
Beth: Yes, that is true. I’ll look for them later, for now I need to oil you and fit a bobbin.
Me: I do love a good oiling. Would you do me a favour please and wax my treadle hinges too, I am feeling a touch creaky.
Beth: Yes, later, if we have time. I wish to concentrate on being ready to sit and spin as soon as we arrive at Spinning Group.
A long lull in the conversation follows whilst Beth finds a bobbin, scratches her head, reads my manual…
Beth: Was I spinning that North Ronaldsay fibre Double Drive or Single Drive?
Me: I believe that I was working in Double Drive…
Beth: OK. So I need to get the Scotch Tension cord tucked out of the way and …
A further hesitation in our discourse occurs and Beth turns my bobbin around in her hand
Beth: Which way round does your bobbin go for Double Drive?
Me: The small end faces the flyer, Beth.
Beth: What exactly does “faces the flyer” mean, Morgana. To my mind, the bobbin sits along the flyer – how can one end face it?
Me: *taps treadles impatiently*
Beth: Morgana? Please? Just tell me which end of the bobbin goes at the drive end for Double Drive.
Me: The small one. Are we ever going to get out of the door today? Come on, we shall be late.
Beth: All right, don’t get tetchy with me or I’ll take my knitting and you can stay at home and rust.
More fumbling occurs
Beth: Blast it. I have the bobbin on but I forgot to put the drive band over the flyer.
Further fumbling and swearing… perhaps I should have found a home with a spinner more lady-like.
Me: WHAT NOW?
Beth: Do you remember what ratio we were using? Or even which flyer whorl?
Me: Frankly, I have no idea about the ratio, but if you use your eyes you will see that my Medium whorl is still fitted. Clearly that is the one that we used last. Get a move on, I want to go out!!
Beth: ARGH! OK. We’ll have to go as we are and figure it out later. Do you recall where I left your transport wheels?
And so it goes. She loves me really and when we finally get to work we are a productive and happy couple. One day we shall feel more at home with each other and all will go smoothly and we shall have no more of these idiotic conversations.