Monday, December 19, 2011

Bah Humbug

This year I just can't get into Christmas. I don't care. Maybe it's that we had a busy fall--we went on 2 trips and hosted 2 family visits--or that it hasn't gotten very cold yet, or that it seems like we just had Christmas, but we haven't put up any lights, set up the tree, or baked any treats. I'm only about 3 inches into the third stocking I'm making (I made 2 last year). Really, I just want it all to be over so that I can go to a store without 4 million other people being there. Bah humbug, I know. I don't even want to do any crafts.

It's a good thing I started planning back in September, because 3 people are actually getting handmade gifts this year. Too bad I can't show you, yet. So instead, let's talk about spinning. Ok? Ok.

One of the lovely ladies in my knitting group let me borrow her Ashford Traveller wheel. Because I already had been spindle spinning, it didn't take me long to get the hang of it. It was so fast! I didn't have to stop to wind the yarn on!

Now I have reached the part where I eat my words. I know you've heard me say, "I'm not getting a wheel, they're too expensive! I don't need any more hobbies."

I got a wheel. (Actually Jason got me a wheel. Which he purchased from a link I sent him in an email. Kind of like how my engagement ring was purchased... what? I'm not a control freak, I don't know what you're talking about.) It's a Fricke S-160 double treadle.

Frickes don't win any beauty contests, but they get the job done. If any of you are considering getting a wheel, here's why I choose this one:
  1. Price: less than $400. There are very few wheels in this price range, and this one had most of the features I was looking for.
  2. Ball bearings = fewer points to keep oiled
  3. BIG bobbins (although they are plastic and most don't seem to be 100% level. These are the exact same as the Majacraft bobbins, however, and those wheels will cost you a lot more.)
  4. Delta orifice: no need to fiddle with a hook
  5. There are five, count 'em, five drive ratios! (These are kind of like gears on a bike. The bobbin and flyer will spin faster with less treadling the smaller you go.)
  6. Treadling is smooth, and the wheel is quiet. The only sound comes from the brake band whirring on the bobbin.

That blue fiber that shows up in all the pictures is 8 ounces of merino wool that I'm spinning into a 3-ply fingering-ish weight. It is taking for-ev-er.

Here is a bonus alpaca for anyone who just read that post and had no idea what I was talking about.

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