Tag: spinning wheels

Three is the Magic Number

Meet Sigrid!

I spotted her on craigslist last week, and she came home with me on Tuesday.


What a beauty, eh?

I don’t have a really good idea of her origins, but her styling appears to be scandinavian.


She is complete (except for maybe a distaff- there is a hole in the table for one), with an intact flyer and one bobbin that is in pretty good shape. Really solid and not terribly dried out or anything. Even has both her finials!


And check out the neat little caps that secure the wheel in place!



She did have rust and residue on her flyer hooks,

so I took a small wire brush to them and got them cleaned up some.


Might have to do a little more smoothing on a couple of hooks that have quite a bit of wear, but she’s spinning very nicely already.

I also fashioned her an orifice hook out of a paperclip, since the hooks I use with my other wheels wouldn’t fit (she’s got a kind of petite flyer assembly).


I just love her style. The turnings, the tone and grain of the wood – pretty, but not too fancy.
And she’s a sweet spinner. Big 25 inch wheel.




So I’m back to three wheels now.
Three is the magic number. 🙂

Ps. Will post a video of her in action soon!

Super Custom Wheel Mod

I’ve been curious about quill wheels for a while.

There are some really neat “build it yourself” wheel plans out there, like the Dodec, and more recently, the Thrifty Fox wheel.

And Majacraft even has a stylus attachment for their wheels.
But the thing is, on most of these wheels, the quill, or stylus or spindle, is pointed right back at you,,, so it doesn’t really optimized for a long draw.

And then it occurred to me-
I could mod my custom wheel to add a spindle!

And I could do it with materials that had hanging around the house.


1 size 13 metal knitting needle.
1 straw
2 small screws
1 husband to make one cut and drill two small holes in said knitting needle.


Here is how it came together-

knitting needle inserted in wheel orifice, and secured in place with screw on the right

I used a slit open piece of straw as a sleeve to make it fit more snugly, so there was no wobble of the needle in the orifice.
The other screw is there only to have a place to fasten the leader yarn when you actually start to spin.

And here is the full assembly

Took a little while to get a feel for it, but it’s actually a really nice way to spin long draw, because there is no “take up” at all while you are drafting. You just draft backwards as far as you want (or can reach), and treadle until you’ve added enough twist.
Then you stop, rotate the wheel in the opposite direction to unwind the yarn back away from the tip, and then wind it onto the spindle.
Took me a couple times to figure out that if I used another straw on the spindle as a bobbin core, that it would be easy to remove the singles without having to wind off. You don’t even need to have a straw exactly the size of the spindle. Just slit the straw and pop it on there. Voila!

Here is some of my first yarn resting on a straw (sorry, all I had was a bit of clear straw left, so it’s kind of hard to see)


Cheapest bobbins ever.

Will try to shoot a little video next weekend. Probably a lot easier to follow than my description of how it works.

Out with the Old, In with the New!

First, the sheeps helped me close out the old year, by recycling the christmas tree



They like evergreens, and it makes their breath all fresh and piney 🙂

Then in order to get the new year off on the right foot, I brought out the other herd, my spinning wheels, for a cleaning and oiling.


Don’t they look swell, all shined up and ready for 2012’s challenges?

I also dug out the partial distaff that I got with Sophie (on the right), and found a branch out in the yard that might serve as the basket-type part on top. I’m going to work on drafting from the distaff and see if I can get the hang of it.

And lastly, I got a start on my next sweater project- the Chone/Spike Cobblestone


Still have 3 or 4 more skeins to go for this one, so I’ll be working at it from both ends for a bit-


Goal completion date: end of Feb.

My New Friend Pirtle

So the wheel has a name!

Thanks to the fine folks on Ravelry, I’ve come to know that he’s a Pirtle.


So, he’s a 70’s-vintage guy, one of about 200 made by a retired Air Force engineer.
I’ve named him Hank.
Hank Pirtle.

And I’ve just combed up another batch of Frank/Felix to spin up all nice and bulky on him.


In addition to getting a feel for Hanks irish tension system, I’ve managed to get a start on a another vest for John The Shepherd, of Marietta Shetlands:


I took the cable motif from the Hand in Hand men’s cable vest pattern by Kathy Zimmerman. I think it’s working out nicely- it’s curvy, and large enough to stand out in the dark yarn, but still manly and subdued.

No outside photos this week. It’s July, but feels like October.

No summer yet.