Trying New Things, Part 2

I don’t believe I’ve mentioned it here yet, but I’ve started the long and thorough process of researching and testing out new spinning wheels. I’m very, very happy with Lendrum DT, but the reality of my situation is that there are times when I have a lot of discomfort in my hip and spinning with this wheel is not always as comfortable as I might like. I’d been leaning toward going the miniSpinner road until the end of last year when my husband made a stop at a local shop without me and asked about and tried out a couple single treadle wheels. While he’s very supportive of whatever wheel I ultimately choose, he asked that I do a thorough investigation of single treadle wheels before making any decisions. He thinks it would suit me as an individual better and would alleviate the hip issues. Honestly, I never really thought about single treadle wheels all that much just because to go that route and still maintain the level at which I’m spinning, it would most likely mean a larger wheel. A larger wheel in our tiny house. We talked at length about it, how regardless I’d likely keep my Lendrum as a travel wheel, and about some changes we’ve been looking at making (ie moving our piano out because it just doesn’t get used) and my husband made a strong case for considering that route. Since he does know me pretty well and the idea of a big, beauty saxony wheel is very appealing to me, I’ve happily agreed to do the research.

With this in mind, while on the way home from a day trip during our staycation we stopped off at Susan’s Fiber Shop.  I bought my Lendrum from her and she’s the closest shop to our house that carries wheels on the sales floor for testing. Unfortunately she didn’t have any single treadles in-house — apparently most people go DT — but I did thoroughly test each wheel she did have just to officially rule them out. I’m happy to say that of the dozen or so double treadle wheels she had set up my Lendrum is still the best fit. That made me feel great about my original choice, but didn’t solve the current dilemma. No bother, it’s a long process, right? I’m cool with that, I’m happy to wait and find the wheel.

Having spent an hour or so trying out all the wheels, I had a gander around the fiber. Susan’s can be a little like a treasure hunt as she’s got loads of goodies stashed around her shop and right as I was about to head back to the car, I found a lovely little BFL color pack from Greenwood Fiberworks in the Copper Hills colorway.

img_5652I’m a fan of BFL and I thought I could do something interesting with these to make some socks. I have yet to succeed at spinning for socks with deliberate color handling. My last attempt resulted in yarn that was a little short on yardage and heavy on weight which I’ve yet to really figure out if I have enough of to actually make socks. For this collection, I thought I’d try to use my Very Fast Flyer to really get a nice, lightweight yarn.

img_5661-2I split the fiber evenly into halves — one for each sock — and then each half was split into 3 equal portions containing equal amounts of each color. The idea being stripey socks.

img_5672-1The spinning went remarkable well and — as I seem to always say — I’m getting more comfortable with this flyer with each spin. My only complaint is that the bobbins are just like .5oz too small. Each half of this fiber was 2.1oz and I couldn’t quite fit that amount on one bobbin. Not the end of the world, but kind of annoying nonetheless.

In any case, I chain plied it using my smallest whorl on my lace flyer and it went just swimmingly.

copper-skeinsTa-Da!

detail-copperAren’t they just lovely?! I can’t wait to knit some socks with these! And, perhaps even more importantly, I think I’ve found a go-to flyer for sock spinning. That’s huge for me, really and truly.

In the interest of full disclosure, it was not a total 100% success. While I have plenty of yarn for the socks, one skein did come out quite a bit bigger than the other. It remains to be seen how this will affect the knitting and the planned striping. I’d be more disappointed, but as goes spinning, knitting, and life in general, if everything turned out perfectly life would be pretty boring. The world is much more interesting when a few challenges, a few new hurdles present themselves, right?

12 responses to “Trying New Things, Part 2

  1. LOVE the colors in this. The socks will be yummy, even if they don’t match perfectly – you usually don’t care about that anyway! Do a toe-up and start with the shorter of the two skeins, maybe?

    • Yes! I have a small collection of handspun I want to work as toe-up, so I will add this to the pile. ☺I did print a reliable toe-up pattern, too, last week, so I am close (ish) to starting.

  2. The yarn is fantastic! I have an old single treadle Louet S75. When I decided to take up spinning, I went on Craigslist, and there it was, priced right. I didn’t do any other looking, and knew so little I didn’t have a clue about single vs. double. Do you have a local spinning group? Can you output the word in your area that you’d like to see if anyone has a wheel you could take some a test spin? I’m so lucky my tomlive right by the Anoka Fiber works, which has open spinning every other Saturday, so there are boatloads of other kinds of wheels for me to try, in addition to what’s sold there.
    (I love my Louet. It has a huge bobbin and orifice, but can do really lightweight yarn.)

    • I don’t know about local spinning groups, but I’m very lucky that there are 4shops within about 2hours of my house that have wheels available to try. I’ll be making the rounds!

  3. I love my ST Matchless. I have some back issues and being able to switch from one foot to the other or use both really helps make spinning less painful for me, and aggravates my back less. Good luck finding the right wheel!

    • I was wondering about how the ST Matchless spun! Is it a smooth treadle with one foot? My Lendrum has a very small dead spot at the top of its spin that I’ve been working to eliminate, but it’s just not *quite* right. I would LOVE to hear more!

  4. Have you ever just tried to use your DT as a single treadle? (I feel like it is possible I’ve asked you this before, and if so, I am sorry!) Often times I find one knee gets a little sore these days. So, a longer day of spinning often finds me with my left foot up on a knob halfway up the wheel with my right leg doing all the work on my Rose. It might be worth some exploration. it’s a bit like cruise control in the car. In the sense that the other foot is there if I need it, to stop, to start, etc. But it doesn’t do heavy duty if I am feeling sore.

    • Yes! I have! And I do! It works wonderful with the regular head, but I’ve had trouble adjusting it to not have a “dead spot” at the top of its spin with the fast flyer which I use a lot. I have even been playing with putting a light handweight on the left treadle to counteract that and keep the spin “whole” but I just haven’t gotten there with it with the other flyers. I will keep at it as I’m optimistic that there must be a sweet spot for all of them. I will admit that while I’m not interested in having a wheel collection, I do like the idea of a second one if I find the right fit. And if nothing fits the bill, than I will be ecstatic to know my Lendrum is *it* for me.

      I do have to say I tried the Rose & thought of you. I so want to work with a Majacraft, but the treadles are too close together for me though. My ‘bad’ leg is at a weird angle and i didn’t know it when I was originally looking but that makes nearly all DTs not fit my body. 😳

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