Friday, January 18, 2013

Spinning Wheel!

If you follow me on Facebook, you may be aware of the amazing early Christmas present that arrived on my birthday in December... a Kromski Fantasia Spinning Wheel! 

It took a lot of self control to not open her immediately, but I wasn't sure how long the assembly would take so Keith and I decided to wait until the weekend to set her up.  I was determined to do most of the assembly myself in case I ever needed to do maintenance on her.   Besides, I really should have an understanding on how the spinning wheel works, right?  

Unwrapping each piece is like opening a new present.  Some of the assembly instructions were a little hard to follow (according to this perfectionist), but there are handy videos to help you see how things should fit together.  The instructions did not come with the names of the parts.  Most I sort of knew, but many we just had to figure out (the videos helped).

Meet Sandry.  I named her after one of my favorite characters from the Tamora Pierce Circle Universe whose magic appears through spinning and weaving.  (Too bad she never knits!)

When the wheel showed up, I realized that I didn't have anything to test spin on it.  I ran (well, speed walked/danced) to my LYS to get some roving.  They do not have a great selection, but I knew from a past visit that they had some little balls that would be perfect for testing out the wheel.  I didn't want to start spinning some lovely hand dyed roving until I got a feel for how the wheel worked.  When I got home, I immediately dyed some roving myself to be my first full project on the wheel.  (Stay tuned for a future post.)

Before I knew it I was spinning!  The brake band was the hardest thing to manage.  I'm sure it will take me a while to get the feel for what this tension should be.  I am really glad I had some "waste" roving to practice with.

The wheel is FAST.  I knew that it would be faster than the drop spindle, but I still did not appreciate how fast it would really be.  I had a bit too much spin on this first yarn, and I'm on the smallest whorl ratio! Maybe I don't need the additional 14:1/20:1 whorl...  In no time I had gone though this little bit of roving and was ready to wind it onto my niddy noddy. 

The best difference of having a spinning wheel over a drop spindle (after the speed and ease, of course) is the built in lazy kate.  Winding yarn off of the drop spindle was always one of the biggest pains, and now it is such a pleasure!   In this first spinning session, I spun about 80 ft (20 wraps *4 ft) of yarn. I am not sure what I will use it for because it isn't the softest yarn ever, but I am happy to have had something to practice with.  The roving that I handpainted was dry by the afternoon, and I was ready to start spinning it. 

Yarn Spun 12/15/2012 - I will have notes on when I finished spinning the yarn on all of these posts to help me keep track of the important information of the yarn for when I enter it in the Ravelry stash.  As of this moment, there are a bunch of new hand spun yarns that I need to enter but have not gotten around to yet.  Thank goodness I keep notes in Blogger!