I spent some time over the weekend on Ravelry catching up on the conversations and threads in some of the groups when I came across this account of one Raveler’s Lendrum spinning wheel being stolen from the spinner’s circle at a fiber event in Oregon. To make matters worse, it wasn’t just the wheel but the carrying bag too which contained some personal items, hotel keys, and some fiber that she had just purchased from a vendor. It’s suspected that the thief is not interested as much in spinning but instead is interested in the cash value of the wheel.
I was shocked because I honestly can’t even imagine that happening at any fiber event anywhere. Folks in the fiber community are so…not like that. At every event that I’ve been to here in the Capital District I have never once worried about turning my back on my wheel or my bag of fiber or knitting so that I can walk about and socialize, shop, use the restroom, or grab a bite to eat. Never! But I guess it really can happen to anyone anywhere.
I’m not going to let this incident make me paranoid, but I’ll certainly be just a little more cautious in the future. One important step is to make sure your wheel is marked some way, somehow, as yours. Some people have very custom artwork somewhere on their wheel that would make it easily identifiable. However, many spinners do not, so one Raveler suggested putting your name and address on a label on the bottom of a treadle, somewhere less likely to be seen by some bandit with nefarious intentions for your treasured spinning wheel. A more permanent option would be to have your information engraved on the wheel, but if you ever sell your wheel or trade it in, that engraving might be impossible to remove and significantly reduce its value.
That spinner’s nightmare does have somewhat of a happy ending though. The fiber community at that event rallied together and pitched in with donations to get a replacement wheel, and the vendor who sold the fiber that was also stolen was more than happy to replace it. THAT is the kind of fiber community I know and love!
Happy knitting and spinning!