I think as knitters and spinners we enjoy and to some extent take for granted our low-tech tools. Barring personal injury, our sticks and string and spindles and fiber are going to work — even our spinning wheels which are comparably complex are still pretty simple machines. None of the above requires electricity or any special ingredient beyond a little patience and the desire to create. It’s a fact that makes the fiber arts incredibly accessible. I also think that in today’s day and age there’s something quite valuable in taking part in a pastime that requires you, at least to an extent, to unplug — instead of the other way around. Personally, I think it’s just plain good for the soul.
As is often the case in the early morning, this Saturday morn I was at my wheel spinning away on my polwarth + silk Heart of Hearts from Three Waters Farm. If you’ll remember from last week, I replaced my wheel’s footman connectors.
While they definitely felt better when spinning and they no longer made a creaking noise while I treadled, a little clicking noise had materialized. Now it was the kind of situation — I’m sure you know it well — where you fix one thing that was making a noise and then you can’t remember if the new noise you’re hearing is an actual normal working noise that you’d forgotten about because of the noise you just fixed or some new problem. It didn’t help that I had some insecurity about my repair. If there’s one complaint I have about my Lendrum DT — and really this is the only thing I’d change about it — it’s that there really is not a lot of information readily available online on maintenance for it. I admit my google-fu is not strong, but I’ve searched high and low as best I can and come up with next to nothing. Thankfully, it’s a very simply built wheel and there just isn’t a lot that goes wrong with them. In any case, I isolated the clicking and from what I saw I thought it would be ok. I resolved to just keep spinning.
I spun along…
And then the wheel started to shake when I got up to speed.
At first I tried to convince myself that it was because I was using my fast flyer. It was just that I was spinning so fast. But, you know, I’m not really a super fast spinner. I checked and tightened a couple things and still my spinning wheel did the spinning wheel shimmy.
Suddenly I was terrified to touch it. What if I’d done the connectors wrong and it was out of balance? What if that clicking was destroying my wheel? Fear. Panic. Dread. It all started to set in.
It was a little after 10am and I knew the shop where I bought my wheel was open. I briefly considered waiting to have it looked at in case it miraculously stopped shaking, but decided I’d be better off driving the 25minutes to get it checked out than waiting and possibly damaging it. After calling to confirm they were open and would be able to take a look at it, I gathered the wheel & the kids and we made the trek to Susan’s Fiber Shop. Thankfully, they were able to look it over right away. Thankfully, it was just a matter of tightening a couple bolts & screws. Thankfully, I’d done a fine job with the footman connectors. Thankfully, I was able to take it home right away.
And now, all the beautiful pieces and parts are running smoothly…
(Don’t mind the heaps and buckets of fiber in the background)
And last night after some epic foursquare with the mister & kids, I spun like the wind once again.