Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Spinning Projects: Spinning Wheel

This wheel is a saxony style.
I realized after my last post that I've neglected to properly introduce my newest crafting tool - a spinning wheel!  It has already appeared in several photos, posts, and even in the new header design, but I have yet to tell the story of how I came to have it.  Read on for the story...

In June, I tagged along with my mom to a meeting of the spinning group she recently joined.  Once a month, they meet at a woman's home in Grand Rapids and just spin and talk (and eat delicious snacks).  Just before we left to go, my mom pulled out a spinning wheel from her car.  She'd bought it that day from the oldest group member who could no longer spin as often.  Since my mom already had a wheel, she let me use the new one (which is actually older in years) to see how I liked it.  As I've fallen in love with it since then, I consider it an early Christmas present.  So I brought it to the spinning group that night and one of the ladies helped me get it going.

Having first learned to spin using a spindle, it was actually quite easy to transfer to a wheel.  The drafting method is much the same, it's just a matter of learning how quickly the spin enters the fiber and how quickly the yarn is drawn onto the spool.  With a little adjustment of the tension, this can be balanced out pretty easily.  And it's SO much faster and less tiring than using a spindle.  Although the spindle is great because of how portable and simple it is, I now prefer spinning on the wheel.

Some of the first wool I spun.
That night, the first thing I spun with the wheel was a little black/blue wool from my mom (not enough to do anything with).  Then at home I spun some spare cream wool (also not much).  THEN, I spun some purple merino, which will make its appearance in a post very soon!

And finally, I spun this bluish green 70/30 merino wool and silk blend.  I got this fiber from a festival at Klackle's orchard in Greenville in May, and it was beautifull to spin.  The long fibers twisted together nicely for a smooth, drapey, glossy yarn.  I can't wait to knit a little cowl or hat out of it!
Spinning the silk/merino blend
Twist entering the fiber
I love the sea-green colors.
This lazy kate and three extra spools came with the wheel.
Starting to ply
Plied yarn

The finished skein
I also spun all the alpaca and llama yarn with the wheel, and have been doing other things with it as well.  Posts on those projects to come soon!

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