May 26, 2011

Playing Around with the New Wheel

For Mother's Day, my wonderful husband bought me a Kromski Fantasia spinning wheel and a lazy kate to match.  I've been so busy with the whole end-of-the-school-year craziness that I haven't had much time to spin on it.  But, let me just say that if you want to know what inner peace feels like, stop and spin a while on the back porch in the morning with the birds singing in the trees.  Wow!

Here are pictures of the wheel. The first is when it was being put together by Honey.  It came in a box in about 70 pieces with a diagram (this is why I married an engineer!), wrapped in most of the pages of a Polish version of People Magazine.  Very nifty! 

 It's currently unfinished.  I am not exactly sure what it's true color is meant to be, but after much discussion with Honey,  I think that I am simply going to go with a clear, wipe-on polyeurethane (did I spell that correctly?) and let it be what it is.  So many people seem to like to stain the white wood to a cherry or a walnut, and that's pretty; but I don't know.  I tried to order an additional whorl; but these Polish people are so popular that it sat on backorder for a month before I discovered that it was on backorder and gave up.  I watched a video about spinning on this type of wheel, and the guy said that you should use the different whorls; but many people say that they can spin all of their fibers on just one whorl.  Based on my ordering experiences, and the limited supply that is apparently out there, I can understand why one-whorl spinning literally becomes a necessity.

Not having had much time to spin, I've a few half-completed projects.  Come to find out that my spinning is very much like my knitting, and I get bored half-way through the exercise.  I'm a grass-is-greener-in-the-storage-bin kind of gal.  So, I have half of my 50/50 Tussah Silk/Merino spun up and plied into a two-ply yarn.  I have half of my so totally gorgeous Wensleydale, which came from Corgi Hill Farm on Etsy, spun up. This may be the most favorite wool I've ever spun because of it's odd tactile properties:  scratchy on the uptake, soft in the skein--even before it's finished.  The fibers are monstrously long and easy to spin.  And, I made a go with some Romney that I had left over from an old spinning project, hot pink and lavender, and whipped up a little crazy low-twist two-ply skein of it.

The only thing that I don't like about it is that it doesn't fold up.  So, it sits in the livingroom and, even though it is under cover, is fair game for Nutzy, the house cat.  She has figured out that if she shifts from one pedal to the next, the wheel will spin.  She also likes to just paw at the side of the wheel to make it spin.  Woe to the fiber that gets left on the wheel partly spun! Here you see her scouting the possibilities as the wheel is being constructed.

It's the first day of summer vacation, and I can't wait to get some no-Nutzy time on the wheel!


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