Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! I got the best gift (that I got myself) in the mail today. I have been saving my pennies all winter and then the virtual yarn show I had planned to attend in January got cancelled. Bummer. But I had some funds saved up and I decided to save a little more and splurge on an Ashfor spinning wheel. I ended up choosing Kiwi 3 and I can’t hardly wait!
It came “some assembly required” but the husband told me “challenge accepted” and took it to the work bench in the garage.
I bought the wheel from a local US shop but they were on back order so I got it straight from New Zealand complete with two tiny fluffs of New Zealand wool.
In the end….it’s beautiful and the hubby did a great job. So far I just sit down at night and just treadle making sure to practice going both directions. This is a double treadle wheel and so far MUCH easier to control than the single treadle Hitchhiker wheel my mom got me two christmas’s ago. I think this feels like a much better beginner wheel and when I have better skills I am going to be able to kick but on the Hitchhiker as well.
Now I just need to train PB and Jellybean to NOT TOUCH OR RUN MOMMY’S SPINNING WHEEL. It is a tool and not a toy…
The day came this weekend for me to have been couped up in my house with littles just a teeny bit too long and it made me brave enough to attempt plying on my spinning wheel. I pulled out my well rested 70s kitchen themed singles and made a spinning oasis on my back patio sans kids.
I made a couple of lazy kates out of some amazon boxes and two wooden straigh knitting needles. I made sure to load my biggest bobbin and practiced treadling in the correct direction. Mind you I spun these counter clockwise on my drop spindle so I was plying the clockwise on my spinning wheel.
I also took a minute to enjoy the kid free silence and salute my heat wilted garden with a cup of hot coffee. I’m Scandinavian and we like our coffee hot and strong all year round. It’s genetic I think…we can down hot coffee on a 98 degree day and not miss a beat!
After a few false starts/stops and some occasional over plying….I made a successful two-ply yarn!! It’s thick and thing and all over the place with how I plied it. But dang it….it’s yarn and it holds together. I might even be able to knit something from this yarn!
My bobbin has been set aside to rest for 24 hours and which I will wash and whack the skein. I’m really interested to see how many yards I got out of 4 ounces of alpaca!
I present to you a HitchHiker single treadle spinning wheel by The Merlin Tree. I was gifted this wheel by mother after she procured it in a trade with her quilt shop coworker. I have been doing my best to research this wheel as it’s a little different than most. It’s a direct drive wheel which means the flyer is turned directly by the wheel as you treadle. Honestly, its kind of an obscure wheel and it doesn’t have a lot resources either from the manufacturer or on YouTube. It has been a little frustrating but I shall persevere.
I have been practicing just treadling on the empty wheel because it is going to take some learned muscle movement to keep the wheel going in the same direction as I start and stop. That is just the ups and down of a direct drive wheel. Just putting your foot on the treadle can move the wheel in a direction you didn’t intend. The brake band also needs some TLC to be snugged up which I am hoping my woodworking father can assist with. I think I may also have to try to fall upon the mercy of the local spinners group for assistance/lessons. Time will tell…
With the wheel I also inherited the spinner fiber stash. In the bin in addition to a knitty knoddy and spare wheel parts was a TON of fiber. I dig through and found llama blends, alpaca blends, romney wool, merino blends and several unidentified fibers. This spinner clearly had good taste.
This all came from a rural farm, so right now it’s living my sub zero garage just in case it has anything other than fiber in there. I’m hoping to zap this with some heat somehow before bringing into the house with my other stash.