This has been a long, hectic week. Man, I’ve just been dying to blog!
The Fibre Garden’s spin-in on Sunday was lots of fun. I met this fellow Knitter of the Caribbean (Ravelry group, FWIW), and totally taught her to spin on my mini Bosworth spindle! She was great too – made very decent first yarn, and no drops 🙂
I helped my stash out with some Corriedale colour:
I also replaced the BFL top that went back to nature in the moth heat treatment. Just enough to spin a 2nd single for the glorious lace I plan to knit. Last but not least is the 111 g of California Red roving that’s already a bouncy 2-ply yarn! Don’t recognize that ginormous bobbin? From the FG’s Spinolution Mach II. On loan to me…
All 111 g in one go. Before I go nuts describing the wheel can I just say that California Red is a very interesting wool? Not esp. soft but the coarser red fibres fleck the yarn beautifully. Point no. 1 on the Mach II? Yarn capacity. Here are the finished skeins:
This is 4-ply Coopworth wool from the Wee Peggy bobbins that I plied on the Mach II:
My other impressions so far are based on the 1:10 ratio that I have been using:
- Treadling: I thought it might have been spinolution for spinolution’s sake but I was wrong. It’s what they call toe-t0-heel treadling. It rocks sideways instead of a presser-foot action. You get in touch with your inner market woman but even my size 7 feet comfortably reach the treadles. I am not a tall person at 5′ 2½”… which is to say that Mom might gasp to see me at this wheel. Gasp away Mom, it’s v. comfortable! Treadling is so smooth & responsive that my bum ankle has yet to complain. The Bellwether wasn’t kidding when she said you can give a foot a break: her review is here.
- Toe breaks: That was a what? why? reaction at first. Well, that drive wheel has a back-spin to her. Even after a full-stop. It’s that heavy. I’m using the right brake.
- Funky flyer: This is the standard (i.e., non-art yarn) flyer. I like the guide pegs. They are easy to work with, and the yarn winds on evenly. The flyer-bar is magnetized. I get that it’s a solution for a MachI issue, and am overall okay with it. You do have to make sure that the flyer bar is pushed all the way back after a bobbin change.
- Orifice: They call this an open orifice. It’s really a hook that speaks to me as a spindler. I can shift my hands around without the knocking I got with a Majacraft delta orifice.
- Drive band: It does stay put while spinning but the lack of a groove on the drive wheel makes it jumpy when you are changing. Jumpy = tricky to put back. I’m pretty sure that a cotton stand-in would slide all over creation.
- Tension: It is scotch tension. Just based on the Bellwether’s manual, I think it will give a little trouble. You have to “rough-up” some internal leather piece.
- Rabbit ears: 2 spare bobbins sit on short pegs off the top. It’s terrible to wind-off from them, so I soon rigged me a shoebox kate. Luckily DH has big feet – my size 7 boxes would never have held the honking bobbins!
- In general: I can spin on this wheel on the couch, which is nice. It won’t range far at the 22lbs of awkward weight but has v. good momentum. I like the styling but would feel differently if I didn’t have Miss Peggy for eye candy. There are rocking noises that could be addressed but this is a loaner wheel & I won’t go there. The sheer bobbin capacity, range of ratios, solidity & price are all pull factors for me.
I’m going to keep playing with the wheel. This isn’t a foregone conclusion (not naming it) but I am excited to have these options at this price-point. I know that they are very popular but frankly the Lendrum wheel just hasn’t appealed to me strongly. The forward tilt, and single footman are holding me back. I could come to eat those words because relative portability on a modern wheel is nothing to sneeze at (to mix metaphors).
My oregano has graduated from water to soil:
I do have knitting to share but it can wait for the next post. Happy Friday!