Several years ago at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival I got to sit at a dream spinning wheel, the Wyatt ‘Norwegian.’ I’d never had such a perfect spinning experience, and I realized right then what some of my friends must feel when they get on a five year waiting list for a Norm Hall wheel. This was my spinning dream…
That one brief encounter with Bill Wyatt has stayed in my thoughts ever since. I can’t say for sure when it was…four years ago, maybe? I run the conversation through my mind sometimes….when Bill learned my origins are in Texas he caught me up on the incredible changes along the Gulf Coast over the past several decades. He talked of his career flying with commercial airlines, and his innovations in spinning wheel design. He was noticeably a better spinner than I was at the time! In fact, his spinning made me vow to work on my own spinning improvement, and I have. His ‘Pegasus’ wheel was actually too fast for me, but he could spin on it effortlessly.
I’ve kept the Wyatt Wheel brochure on the book shelf with my spinning books, and I have the website bookmarked in my spinning folder. I was so sad when I learned he was sick, not only because of his wheels, but mainly because interesting people like him are so rare. We all need people of his creative caliber to stay with us and influence us for ages, not fleeting moments… but I only got that brief encounter with him, so I replayed it often.
This week I’ve encountered another interesting spinning wheel maker, Myles Jakubowski, who was Bill’s apprentice. He is an ‘automation engineer’ who loves woodworking and will be continuing to make Wyatt Wheels to Bill’s specifications. Not surprisingly, Myles also has some ideas of his own and is planning to make the first wheel of his own design this winter. I can’t wait to see it!
So now I’m on one of those long waiting lists! I’m in spinning nirvana thinking about the finite time before I have my dream wheel. And although it was the Norwegian I fell for a few years back, I have decided to get either the ‘Pegasus,’ since my spinning prowess has greatly improved over these few years, or I will seriously consider the new wheel that Myles is designing: a castle version of the Pegasus.
It’s wonderful to have a dream, and I’m so glad that Myles has brought my dream back to reality!