Sunday, March 02, 2008

Spinning and Spinning Wheels

I started spinning again. I learned to spin in 1997, a year after I learned to knit. Since then I started a collection of spindles and wheels. This is my Journey Wheel. I chose it because it was the only truly portable double-drive, double treadle wheel. I like the ease of double treadling and since taking a class with Judith McKenzie-McCuin I prefer double drive spinning. It really is a matter of preference, which I won't get into here. Like turning a heel or knitting Continental vs English, we all tend to do what we learned first. BTW, I prefer the flap heel over the short row and Continental over English.

I'm spinning some very colorful superwash merino beautifully dyed by Lynne Vogel. It's been awhile since I spun and it's a little over twisted so I'm going to navajo ply it and hope for the best. As you can see here, I'm using the color changes to remind me to change hooks.

Now that I'm spinning again, my oldest daughter decided she wanted to learn. This is her first attempts appropriately done on my first wheel an Ashford Traveler. I'm very proud of both of them.

The oldest wheel in my collection is a Wee Peggy. I rescued it from a friend who was ready to toss it. It WAS a single treadle, double-drive wheel. I loved the way the tension is adjusted, but I hated the single treadle. It was a real ka-thunker so, I removed the treadle. This wheel is no longer made, but a similar wheel, by Baynes has a double treadle kit, which I bought.

With that and some fancy-work from my father-in-law who's handy with a welding torch (original part on the left, 1st prototype of dual axle spinny-thingy on the right -- it took 2 tries) we were able to turn my ugly-duckling...

Into the beautiful swan she always was meant to be.

It has since been finished. She has a mere 14" diameter drive wheel and while she's slow, she's smooth as silk.

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