Today my new wheel arrived and was promptly whisked out to a craft group meet-up. I took her to bits, gave her a polish, put her back together again and put on a new drive band.
I then wondered what to spin on her.
I fished out of my stash some white, grey and “black” Shetland tops took a length of each and thought about a marled yarn. Then Secret Spinner walked past and said that she was planning a gradient yarn with her Shetland. What could I do? I decided on a quick spin of a small amount of gradient yarn.
I put the tops into groups working from white to black. For the transitions between white and grey, then grey and black I held the two adjacent tops together and drafted them together. This produced a marled rather than carefully blended single. If I was going to do this on a larger project I would go to the effort of blending the transition colours together before spinning.
This evening, once I’d got the wheel set up at home, I checked the assembly instructions (they can be found on Ravelry). I discovered that there are two bobbins for spinning singles and one bobbin for plying! I checked my bobbins and found that two have a whorl that is slightly larger than the remaining bobbin’s whorl, so assumed that the odd-one-out is the plying bobbin.
I’m planning on Navaho plying my blue BFL. But I don’t want to learn on that project. So this gradient spun Shetland was the ideal candidate for practicing on. I got in a tangle a few times (I think leaving the singles to set for a day or two would make things much easier). However, I ended up with a beautifully balanced skein:
It’s now soaking to set the twist. What shall I knit? A winter hat, a beret, a small scarf or a Mobius cowl? It’s not a huge skein, but I should be able to get something useful from it.
As for my new wheel? She is a delight to spin on. I’m about to upgrade the flyer on my Traditional to a lace flyer, so the Haldane Lewis will fill that gap and provide me with a lovely wheel for spinning 4-ply to DK thickness yarn.
At what point does owning some spinning wheels, as essential tools in the occupation of spinning, become having a collection of spinning wheels? I think I may have just crossed the boundary. As long as ownership of a wheel can be justified in terms of generalised or specialised use, then that’s a tool to pursue a hobby. But when a wheel is acquired that isn’t faster, more portable, quieter, great for lace or great for art yarns, then just possibly it may be considered that I have started collecting wheels!
Anyway, my “new to me” Haldane Lewis should be arriving tomorrow. I’m really excited and looking forward to taking it for a spin
That means I will have 5 spinning wheels (that does rather look like it may be a collection). I’m still hankering after a very portable wheel though, so I suspect this won’t be my last!
Oh, no hang-on! Got it! The justification is that I’m learning all I can about spinning and spinning wheels. Some will be tools I use regularly and some will teach me more about spinning! Not a collection at all! Phew. (Though really, what’s wrong with a collection of spinning wheels?)
My Haldane has had a rough time of it recently. She was a working wheel, but when in the kitchen the front bearing went missing (this is a piece of leather that slots into the front maiden on the Mother of All). While the bearing was missing the flyer was placed on a shelf. I thought it was safe there until the day something was grabbed off the shelf and the flyer was knocked onto the hard tiled floor. Even as it hit I knew something was wrong. The flyer arm was broken.
This happened quite a while ago and I’ve been feeling very guilty about it.
Anyway, last weekend the central heating was serviced and the leather bearing was recovered! A slightly warm but otherwise unharmed part!
This gave me the impetus to look at the broken flyer. I decided that the best approach was to glue it back together. I didn’t want to use PVA (which I usually use for gluing wood) as it would need clamping and the flyer is a really odd shape for clamping. I was also gluing wood to metal as well as wood to wood, as the flyer arm had broken near the middle of the flyer revealing the spindle that runs through the centre. In the end I chose an epoxy resin glue. I lightly sanded and cleaned up the areas to be glued; mixed up the epoxy resin and glued the part together. It didn’t take long at all and this morning I was able to test it out.
I’m pleased to say that she works! Now all she needs is a dust and polish.
I’ve been oiling all the key parts of my Haldane since she arrived. However, today is the first chance I’ve had to do any spinning on her.
I found a few bobbin ends of singles (all Jacob) I’ve spun on my Ashford Traditional and decided to ply them together and empty all the bobbins. I had fun while trying the Andean plying technique to use up the last bobbin – I lost one of the ends (I had images of a birds nest of unusable singles). Fortunately I found it and was able to use up all the singles. Here is the result: