Monday, July 30, 2007
On silk, the Tour, and learning to spin
Hi Alene, here's some of the silk hankies I spun on vacation, shown in my FIL's garden. My Tour started off well. I was spinning regularly and using the time to re-commit to exercising regularly. Somewhere mid-vacation I got off that plan and struggled to get back to it, even after we got home. For the Tour, I'm determined to give it a go again next year. The silk spinning has been a challenge: I found it was hard to draft evenly and hard to give it the "right" amount of twist, whatever that is, even with this nice spindle. Guess I'll reread those Knitty articles . . .
I took a spindle workshop in 2000 and a beginning wheel spinning class in maybe 2002? I haven't had any other classroom spinning so your classes sound great. I'd love to hear about them in more detail when you have time. I will be taking a spinning class this Sept. at the WI Sheep & Wool Festival. I haven't spun as many hours as most people think when I tell them when I got my wheel. Still I'm happy with my progress, and with wool at least, I can do pretty well. It helps that I like a little texture in my yarns. My spindle yarns tend to be more consistent than my wheel yarns cuz af the different amounts of practice time.
My wheel is a Louet S15DT. They don't make the S15 in a double-treadle any more but it is just like an S10DT without the hole in the wheel. I like it very much. It holds a lot of yarn on a big bobbin, is very low maintenance, and spins the kinds of yarns I like well. If I keep up with the silk I might want to get the high-speed flyer and bobbin for it. It has a strong take-up compared to some wheels and so would not be as good for cotton as a wheel with Scotch tension and high ratios. I wanted a wheel that would have me use my body symmetrically to reduce any strain and it has been super for that. I really like the upright double treadle models and don't mind a contemporary look (lots of of people love a more traditional style so that's another thing to think about). I also only had ~$300 to spend at the time, so it was a perfect fit. It doesn't fold up but it isn't too heavy; I usually choose a spindle for travel spinning but I have taken my wheel in the car in the past (it fit in my old Golf).
I have heard good things about the Joy and think it would be fun to try some other Ashford wheels. My colleague H loves her Kromski wheel. Schacht is coming out with a new wheel in the fall that looks like it will be great. Majacraft is another New Zealand wheel that I've heard is good. If I was looking now? Gosh, I'd have to try Schacht's new one and some others.
Hope the fence saga continues without further drama and that things are quiet and peaceful in lovely AZ. :) Cindy