Friday, May 17, 2013

More Spinning

An update of sorts to Spinning My Wheels And Getting Nowhere, which I wrote last summer when I had a streak of bad luck with my spinning wheel and bobbins (mostly the bobbins). It must have been not more than a week after the events I described previously that my fiance convinced me that just gluing the bobbins back together wasn't going to work indefinitely - yes I'm a bit of a cheapskate at times, and I also believe that glue is a spectacular fix-all.

He got me to go order a few new bobbins - and what's more, to upgrade my wheel a bit. It's still the same old single-treadle Ashford Traveller - I love the look of the Traveller with the turned wood lines and old-fashioned styling, but I now have a jumbo sliding hook flyer, and the larger bobbins to go with it. Means I can do longer skeins of yarn now as the bobbins won't fill up as quickly. The sliding hooks took some getting used to - and they've changed the appearance of my wheel a bit - it's no longer quite so old fashioned in look. But, there's no more wasted space in on the bobbin where the hooks won't fill. I can slide the hook across to fill much more evenly.

The one thing I wish I could do is figure out how to match the finish on the wheel - I got it used a few years ago and it has a lovely rich finish, while the new bobbins and flyer are unfinished wood. A little jarring in appearance I find. I've kept the old flyer system for any time I want to take photos of the wheel, not that that's happened as yet.

I have yet to completely fill one of the jumbo bobbins too. The current project I have on the go is a pound of undyed wool that I'm trying to spin as finely as I can. It's taking a lot longer than I thought it would. It's funny. I know the name of the sheep the wool came from, but I don't know the breed. At any rate, the wool has a white base with the occasional dark brown hair, making for an interesting colour mixture as I spin it - some sections come out darker than others, depending on the frequency of the darker hairs. It's spinning up quite nicely (so long as the cats haven't been playing with it) - nicer than the merino I had on the wheel prior to this one. That's a project I've kind of given up on for a while, there were so many bits in the wool.

As usual, I have several drop-spindles on the go as well. One lovely multicolor pinks and purples in mohair that's spinning up even and fine. A purple merino and silk combo that I need to get back to (I just found it again yesterday). Blue and white sprinkle-dyed corriedale top that is spinning up into a lovely fine single. I've actually got several balls of singles for this one waiting for me to figure out what I want to do with them in terms of plying. The final spindle has an interesting mix of colours in merino, including yellows, blues and pinks, also sprinkle-dyed. This one's going to take a while to do, as I've got another two and a half bags of the wool. This one is slowly being chain-plied on the wheel - so far it's half-filled one of the jumbo bobbins, but I want to wait until I've got Freddie's wool spun before I do more.
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