Thursday, 3 July 2008

The extent of my spinning obsession

It will come as no surprise to regular readers that despite my dithering, it was very likely that a new spinning wheel would come home with me from Woolfest. My first wheel, the Ashford Traditional has been an absolutely fabulous wheel to learn on. Big, simple, straightforward, and surprisingly flexible. However, it does have its limitations, particularly in portability and in the size of its bobbins. Having enjoyed the Woolfest Spin In on Saturday I would really like to be able to use my wheel in the company of other spinners and learn more from them.

So when I sat down and tried wheels on Sunday morning it was only a matter of time. This wheel is very different to my current wheel.

It has a small, solid wheel with elastic drive bands.

It has a rolling double treadle.

And is very small and portable but has huge bobbins, a delta orifice which is much easier to thread and a sliding yarn hook rather than the rows of cup hooks on the Ashford.

May I introduce my Majacraft Little Gem.

Of course, the moment I got home on Sunday night I had the wheel set up and was spinning away. It really is a joy to work with, so smooth and comfortable. Here is my first bobbin full.

I bought the roving at Woolfest.It is from Bonkers Fibers and is 40% bamboo, 60% merino in a colourway called Peverel. I have spun about three quarters of the skein and am managing to spin an even and fairly fine single. I am looking forward to seeing how it looks when I ply it. Natalie spindle spun and Andean plied a small sample of it on Saturday night and it had a wonderful drape so I am hoping for good things!

Here is the roving before I started working with it. It's a very distinctive colour way with blacks and greys and flashes of vibrant green.

There was so much beautiful fibre on sale that resistance was futile.
This fibre is a merino tencel blend, also from Bonkers called Obscure Rainbow.

This fibre is a Blue Faced Leicester and silk blend from Fyberspates.

These batts from Yarn Yard were irresistible. I've never spun from a batt before so it will be a fun new experience.

This one is in a chocolate and orange blend.

And look at this pink and yellow confection. Batt- enberg?

This was a wonderful end of the day bargain from P & M Woolcrafts. 400g of merino silk for £10. I bought some of this fibre last year and have already spun it up. This means that I may be able to make something substantial with it.

After all that glorious fibre I just had to show you these. Yarn Yard eggs - courtesy of Stourie and Smudge. Thanks to the cushioning effect of all this fibre they got back to London unscathed.

That's all for now. I have more to show you, particularly the whole fleece that came home with me but parts of it are in various stages of cleaning and processing so I'll let you have a look at what I'm doing with that next.

Assuming, of course, that I don't reduce it to a felted mess...


natalie said...

I'm thinking of spindling my Bonkers fibre (Dragonfly) and makeing the morning Surf scarf with it. Spindle a bit, knit a bit, spindle a bit, knit a bit.

I reeeeely need a Golding though.

Auntie Noo said...

Oh it's beautiful. (the wheel that is) and all that wonderful fibre........ I'm in lurve! :)

Arianne said...

LOOOOVE your new wheel! Congratulations!! :) It's beautiful.
(I SO want one! Seriously! I love it's shape and its little wheel and it's big head!)

:) I got some Bonkers too. I have the Merino Bamboo in Pavoreal (that means Peacock in Spanish!) and also the Merino Tencel in Funky Green (but I call it Funky Forest!)

I'm excited. I'm spinning them on my new wheel as soon as I get it!

Queen of the froggers said...

What a lovely wheel, it just looks so neat. Have fun with your fibres, and if you do felt the fleece you could always wear it like a wrap!!!

Anni said...

Congrats on your new wheel. It looks gorgeous. I mentioned to my husband that I might at some point want a 2nd wheel which is more portable than my Ashford Traveller and he looked at me like I was mad so don't think I'll push my luck yet. I'd definitely consider yours I think. It' sgorgeous. Love the fibre too. So tempting. But I've just purchased some yarn.........

LittleBerry said...

Congrats on the little Gem you wont regret it... I love my Rose and they're great wheels solid and relaible and no frills!!!

I got some of the Bonkers Bamboo/Merino in Dragonfly so I'll look forward to seeing yours plied up