Battle of The Spinning Wheels

Ta-da! All two pounds of fiber dyed blue and dry. Now we come to fun part. Spinning them. And spinning them ASAP.

At the time, I wanted to have all this yarn spun up by mid-October, and I still do— (I hear the rustle of calendars as you look at the date. I can dream, can’t I?) It didn’t seem so difficult at the time, but the trouble was that my usual loyal, supportive G. P. Adams & Co wheel was full of silk. And I did not have time to finish spinning that project before I began the indigo. Therefore it was time to try out the two antique spinning wheels that my father bought. Scary scary. Two unknown wheels and a deadline. I started with the one that treadled best. IndigoMerinoonWheel
This poor wheel had literally come to us in pieces and had been put back together by my grandpa. On its maiden voyage (ha ha) it behaved well for a while, then began throwing a fit. And throwing its drive band.

When that didn’t deter me, it decided to snap the single at any and every opportunity, and if it could snap the single about two inches after I had rejoined it, that was even better! Well, I couldn’t sit around and deal with it so I put it in the corner to think over its attitude and got out the other wheel.

This wheel is beautiful, and possibly English. I’ve always been somewhat partial to its looks — perhaps that’s why the other was being nasty — but this one has brass knuckles. It literally has a metal rim around the inside of the big fly wheel. It must be iron or something, and it’s quite thick, which means heavy, which means greater leg power in the treadling. (I’ve literally spun my leg into a big muscle ache before, so you can understand my trepidation.)


However, I have now spun almost two whole bobbins full and it is behaving beautifully. The only time the single snaps is if I do something ridiculous, like not putting in enough twist. It seems the pretty wheel has won the day! (But the other wheel is not forgotten. It’s rather like a horse that needs to learn how to behave itself. I have a feeling, once all the kinks are straightened out, that it will be a fine wheel.) (Did you hear that, wheel? So behave yourself.)

And you know what the most exciting part about this is? This is my first ever bobbin full. Yes, I’ve been spinning for over a year now (gasp), but this is my first full bobbin. The other wheel doesn’t have a fully functional bobbin, which means I can’t fill it to its full capacity. So here, I give you, my first totally full bobbin. And it’s indigo merino! How perfect is that?

One Response to Battle of The Spinning Wheels
  1. Mama Mentor
    October 10, 2009 | 11:10 am

    Looks perfect to me . . .

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