How Grandma’s Spinning Wheel came to be
It all started a very long time ago, when I was about 8 or so. My mother taught me to knit. Then she taught me to crochet and sew. For many years I made all my own clothes and sweaters. Mom was a great role model for me as she always had her knitting bag with her, knitting as my dad drove us somewhere, knitting as she watched television, knitting as she visited with her friends. Mom was a great teacher because that is what she did; she was a special education teacher for 40+ years. When she passed away, her knitting basket, complete with her last unfinished project, was right next to her bed.
I kept up the tradition. I, too, became a public school teacher and taught 8th grade social studies and then science for many years, always with a knitting or crocheting project in a bag next to me.
I took my first spinning class right after my youngest daughter was born, and my first weaving class shortly after that. I was hooked! From then on, I was a regular at Spin N’ Weave, Tucson’s first fiber arts shop until it closed. At that time, I was deeply immersed in teaching and was unable to follow Joan Ruane to Bisbee for my fiber supplies.
I finally decided that when I retired, I wanted to open a fiber arts store of my own so I would not have to travel so far to find the fibers I wanted. I retired from teaching in May, 2007 and my dream shop has been growing and expanding ever since.
In June, 2008 my husband, Michael, offered to watch the shop while I took a 10 day tour to China. He is still here every day, the best partner I could possibly have, always making suggestions, doing construction, maintaining the web page, stocking the shelves and making himself useful in many ways.
Grandma’s Spinning Wheel is now one of the largest and best stocked fiber arts supply shops in the west. We are over 2000 square feet jam packed with hundreds of different yarns, needles, hooks & notions for knitters and crocheters (see the yarns page for a fairly complete listing), fibers of all kinds and colors for spinning and felting, 8 differrent makes of spinning wheels and supplies for spinners, including handcrafted drop spindles by Ken Ledbetter, rigid heddle looms and weaving supplies, dyes, books and patterns. In addition, we offer classes in many aspects of fiber arts, as well as expert advice in yarn, color, texture and pattern selection. Expert assistance for any knitting, crocheting, spinning, rigid heddle weaving problems is always available.
Now that we are grandparents, I am looking forward to the time when I can teach my own granddaughters how to crochet, knit, spin and weave. I have dedicated the shop to my mother’s memory because she was the inspiration for me. She was also a wonderful grandmother to our two daughters (she even tried to teach them to knit, one was more successful than the other!), hence the name, “Grandma’s Spinning Wheel,” as suggested by her eldest granddaughter.
My goal now is to help others learn to appreciate and enjoy fiber arts as much as my mother helped me.