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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Whidby, Island, Washington, Wheel Mecca of the World

In early October, Paulie and I took a wonderful adventure to the most beautiful area in the world. Seattle, Washington, in case you didn't know! I visited here briefly several years ago and fell in love with the city, the weather, and the lifestyle. I promptly changed allegiances from the East Coast of Maine, my adopted homeland since 1954, and declared Seattle my retirement destination.

Wouldn't you know, Paulie had lived here for many years and also loved the area. It was instant karma.
Even more unbelievable is that the spinning wheels lusted after by hundreds of discerning spinners are handmade on Whidby, Island, just off the coast of Seattle. Only a handful are made each year by Jon McCoy. Called Pocket Wheels, there is a year long waiting list and each wheel is custom  made with wood choices galore. Additionally, if that isn't enough, one of the best yarn shops in the country is located on Bainbridge Island, Churchhouse Yarns and Teas. Bonnie Rose, our Wise Woman, introduced us to the pocket wheel several years ago and we each HAD TO HAVE ONE, TOO.
 Churchhouse has great displays, even fully embracing the rainy weather!

 This is the companion needlepoint piece to the one I made last year! Isn't it sweet!

Paulette ordered her wheel last year, IN PERSON!!! and decided it would be great to pick it up IN PERSON. And, lucky, lucky, me, I went along for the adventure!
 This madcap adventure started on Wednesday and we headed straight from the airport to the ferry, planning to stay on  Bainbridge Island for our first night, and, of course, a visit to the yarn shop was first and last on our list.

 Staying with friends, we then headed on to the Whidby Island ferry, leaving from Port Townsend. We rented a sweet VW Passat Wagon, and fell in love with it as well.


 We missed the 4:30 ferry (too much shopping)  and had 90 minutes to wait for the last ferry of the evening. Into town we walked, and, what do you know, we came upon Women's Night Out. Each shop offered complimentary wine  and we barely made it back into the ferry line in time!!!!



 I love this photo of Paulie, enjoying the view at sunset, on our way to her beloved wheel.


 Again, staying with friends, (see Hobbs below, and Pat above) we enjoyed the beauty of the island.
 Below is Jon, the guru of spinning wheels. Formerly a Microsoft brainchild, working of the first XBOX software, he now lives the good life with his wife (Mrs. Pocket Wheel) on their 5 acres of farmland.

Jon gave my wheel a deluxe tuneup and then instructed Paulie and me on how to break it down, put it back together, make tuneups, and in general, get to know our wheels! After three hours with Jon ( we felt guilty that we were delaying wheel production for hundreds of eager spinners) we headed back to Seattle via Devils Pass. Paulie patiently pulled over for me to take photos-it was hard to progress at all!
In fact, we tried, at the last minute, to delay our flight home by several days in order to enjoy the stunning vistas. We did, however, get to spend extra hours at the airport due to "mechanical difficulties" and we volunteered to be left behind, but, alas, we were homeward bound as planned.  Our next trip will be on board our twin RV motorhomes….with pocket wheels in tow.