Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm a spinner, you're a spinner, wouldn't you like to be a spinner too?

Meet Julia. Isn't she lovely? Now I'm sure with practice, she will produce lovely yarn as well but at the moment, I'm finding I'm creating incredibly over twisted singles. But I'm thrilled.

I've wanted a spinning wheel for over two years, but never quite managed to find room in my budget for one. Still I read and dreamed, I learned to spin on a drop spindle and made pretty nice yarn with that. Yet I still longed for a "real" spinning wheel. My family planned to take a cruise this July after my niece's wedding. But we changed our plans a couple months ago and decided not to go on the cruise. Which freed up some savings. And so I made a really selfish choice and decided I would finally buy my wheel.

I contacted Detta of Detta's Spindle in Maple Plain, made an appointment and Monday I found myself in her home trying out several different types and models of wheels. I found I was totally incapable of operating a single treadle. I would treadle fine but as soon as I had to use my hands, my foot would stop pumping so the wheel stopped turning. Hard to make yarn when the wheel isn't turning. Next try was on a double treadle, much easier, I guess it felt like riding a bike so I didn't have the same issue with forgetting to treadle. Now I discovered that I can't keep the right speed with my feet to match my hands so I had way to overspun singles. But I was making yarn! After going back and forth between two different wheels I settled on my Julia, a Louet wheel. I'm thrilled. I also selected enough fiber to hold me for several months and returned home with a wheel in a box.

It only took 20 minutes and one misstep (bobbin on backwards does not turn) before I had the wheel together. I started practicing and while it isn't the lovely yarn I'm hoping for, it isn't awful either. So I'm happy to say I have my own wheel and soon will have my own handspun to work with.

Today is going to be a busy day, the van is in for repairs (again), Emily has her yearly cleft appointment, Anna is taking her standardized testing at school (and not feeling well on top of it) and I have to work at the nursery tonight. So little to no spinning will happen tonight. But soon, I hope to post pictures of my own handspun.

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