Thursday, May 22, 2014

And so it begins...

I bought a spinning wheel.  I learned to spin last year at the Griffin Dye Works Retreat.  So many nice people helped me and let me use their wheels.  I learned how to use a drop spindle-on a borrowed spindle because the spindle I bought was too heavy for a beginner.  And then bought my own smaller spindle.  It was fun.  When I got home from the Retreat I didn't pick up my spindle more than a couple of times.  For a little while I looked for a spinning wheel.  And then got distracted by other things.

A couple of months ago I started looking for a wheel again.  I decided to go with the Ashford Kiwi Wheel.  It was suggested as a great beginner wheel.  The price can't be beat and Paradise Fibers had them in stock and offered free shipping.

It arrived in a tiny tiny box on a Tuesday.  Wednesday my friend Lisa and I opened the box and started painting.  It was a really hot day with high hot winds-and the plastic paint tarp kept sticking to the wheel and various parts.  Lisa's husband Alex saved the day by stringing up the wheel along side the house to dry properly.  Then sanding down the extra paint from the tarp and applying the final coat of paint.  We put together the wheel over the weekend and attempted to spin.  After countless attempts to get the leader to wind onto the bobbin and reading on Ravelry for tips I pulled out the instructions for putting the wheel together and discovered we put the brake band on incorrectly.  Once that was moved, it worked like a charm.

My spinning is bad.  Really bad-totally what you would expect from a newbie.  I'm currently making some over twisted rope with the softness of hard wire.  I know that with practice it will improve.  Last year I was spinning fairly consistently without over twist after a day or so.

So my plan is to follow the advice everyone has given.  15 minutes a day.  I'm keeping notes and by the time I work through 2 pounds of fiber I should be good to go.

Here's my wheel:

The tension knob isn't painted because it was wrapped with all the hardware.  I haven't decided whether I should paint that or not.

Some of the dragonflies got smudged-I think it gives it character.  Plus I'm way to lazy to sand that off and start over.  And I want to spin not paint.  I don't collect dragonflies.  I just liked the stencil over the others available at Michaels when I went looking for paint.  the colors of the flies are a little muted.  They are pink, purple, green and turquoise.

Have any tips for a new spinner?

1 comment:

  1. Keep trying. I ve never spun, but I know YOU CAN