I learned to spin
in 2001. I am basically self-taught from books, videos, reading the
occasionally watching other spinners at fiber fairs, etc...
I spin on a
Millie, a Louet
HitchHiker travel wheel, and a Country Craftsman wheel.
The Millie was my first wheel, purchased mail-order
Fibers (highly recommended!). It is great for spinning fine or
chunkier with it's range of ratios, delta orifice, and double treadles.
The Louet S10 was my second wheel, that begged to come
home with me from a garage sale. It's nice for spinning thicker and
loftier handknitting yarns, and plying on it's large bobbins.
The Merlin Tree HitchHiker travel wheel was my third
wheel, purchased by my husband for me in 2005, to use when traveling, especially
to his car club conventions. A great small wheel that spins very
Country Craftsman is a Saxony Style Double Drive wheel. 21 years old
when I got it, but never spun on. I
worked on her to get her put together and conditioned properly.
When I spin in my
150 year old home's parlor, I feel like I'm possibly connecting with previous occupants.
Maybe there were once other spinning wheels with women that sat here just as I
wheel: Millie, by Majacraft, purchased new, 2000,
spinning spot, in the bay window of my 150+ year old Victorian home's
front parlor room.
wheel: Lucy, a
Louet S10, purchased used, 2004
small images for larger versions)
HitchHiker wheel, posing in the passenger side of our '62 Chevy
Impala, the first car it took a trip in.
third wheel: A
HitchHiker wheel, by
David Paul/The Merlin Tree, purchased 2005. Great travel
wheel, seen here posing behind our '62 Chevy Impala.
HitchHiker wheel, posing in our '96 Chevy Suburban, sitting straight
forward, and on an angle, as it works each way, but it's a bit of a
photos of my HitchHiker Wheel, see my
Google Picasa Photo Album.
I've posted more photos of it after receiving many inquiries about how
it works and what it really looks like up close.
Connie, a Country Craftsman
Saxony Style Double Drive wheel.
Received free, 21 years old but never spun on. I
worked on her to get her put together and conditioned properly.
my spinning spot looks now, with the addition of this beautiful
Working on filling the
bobbin on this wheel, first with Corriedale, then with Cori/Mohair
blend, then with pure Mohair, shown in progress. Samples of
fiber from Judith at
Fibers. Thanks Judith!
Corriedale and Cori/Mohair wound onto the matching niddy noddy.
Toni Neil (owner of
Fold, in Marengo, IL) donated the niddy noddy from her old stock
from when she use to sell these wheels! Thanks again Toni!
kitty, Cookie, guarding the Country Craftsman wheel, with Oreo in
the background, basking in the sunshine on the warm radiator.
My Spinning (and Dyeing) Projects
Click on the small picture to
see a larger version. Use the BACK button on your browser to return
|8/07 Romney handyed wool, dyed by Molly (MollyMollyMoonpie),
about 1 pound of roving. I spun the single on my HitchHiker wheel,
shown on the bobbin in the second photo. I then Navajo plied the single
(creating a 3 ply), to keep the long color sections intact and not
"muddy" the colors with the plying. Plying was done on my Louet
S10 to make use of its large bobbins! I like how it turned out, it's a
bit more vibrant in person than what shows in the photo.
PS-I have a bulky/wide flyer and bobbin set for
the Louet for sale. If you have a Louet with the smaller newer
styled flyer, this bulky set can help you spin and ply huge skeins!
||10/06 Handspun merino wool/mohair, roving from
Rainbow Fleece Farms. The merino is the bright blue fiber, and the
barely noticeable mohair is the pink fibers blended in. I
purchased about 7 oz to play with, not sure what it will become.
||6/06 Handspun batches hanging to dry. From
front to back/left to right:
speckled Coopworth/Silk blend, blue Coopworth (from 8th Handspun
9/04-5/06, below), red Border Leicester (from 7/05 pictures, below)
||6/06 Handspun batches drying, from other side
||1/06-6/06: Coopworth with silk, one pound total,
purchased from a clearance bin at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool in 9/05, just
to play with. Spun on my HitchHiker wheel, and plied on my Louet
||6/06: Border Leicester from below, all finished
and hanging to dry.
||7/05-1/06: 24 oz of Border Leicester, finished
spinning and plying, from below (color isn't good in this shot, real
color more like picture below). Not washed yet, so it hasn't had
the chance to "bloom" fully. Spun and plyed on the HitchHiker
wheel. Fiber from
Floya Hawkins, Chana, IL.
||7/05-1/06: Border Leicester, above, being spun on my
HitchHiker travel wheel
||9/05 Dyeing experiment (not handspun!) with
KnitPicks fingering weight Color Your Own wool yarn. Dyed with
Createx liquid fiber reactive dyes, using a handpainted method that was
then set in the microwave. This experiment was done to try out the
dye and yarn before doing a Dyeing Day workshop for my knitting guild,
which luckily went well, and everyone went home with uniquely colorful
||6/05 Handspun Alpaca, 3 oz of soft blended-color
roving, purchased at
Fulton Fiber Mill,
Fulton, IL. Spun to a 2-ply light sport weight yarn on the Country
Craftsman wheel. Very soft and lofty.
||6/06: Blue Coopworth from below, finished and
hanging to dry. Color is a bit off in this shot, photo below is
more true to actual blue color.
||8th Handspun 9/04-5/06: Coopworth wool
roving, "Blue Skies" color, by Hidden Valley Farm, purchased at
Stephenson County Fibre Art Faire, Spring 2004. Half of the 2+
pound batch spun, will be double ply sport weight for knitting a gansey
sweater for myself when finished.
||7th Handspun 9/04: 2 pounds of Wool/Llama blend,
purchased at Zeilinger's
Woolen Mill in Frankenmuth, Michigan, 8/03 (after taking a fun tour
there with my family and best knit-buddy
Barbara and her husband Bart). Long staple wool (no specific
breed identified) with very slick llama blended in. A challenge to
spin, but helped me learn to do more of a long draw (well, more of a
medium draw at least!), instead of inch-worming. Will knit up into
very warm outwear!
||6th Handspun 6/04: 8 oz Corriedale top, a bit
slick and was a learning experience. This came with my first
wheel's beginner package of goodies, but being a combed top, it wasn't
as easy to do as soft springy roving (like below). I put it aside
for a few years, partly done, until I spun other types of fiber prep.
The results are rather, ummm, interesting. The second ply was spun
pretty well, but the first ply was more of a novelty...which made for a
rather unique yarn in the end. Oh well, it showed I did learn a
bit over time, so that's good!
5th Handspun 3/03: Wonderfully springy
Romney wool! Pure delight to spin. 7 oz,
2-plyed after spinning woolen for a soft, thicker, snuggly yarn. I'm
hooked-I want more Romney!
10/04 Update: Romney is now knit into a Pelerine
Shawl, shown at right! Soft and cuddly and warm! More info
on my General Knitting page.
||4th Handspun 1/03: My own Handdyed Merino
roving. I handdyed this superwash merino at Merike Saarnit's class at
Stitches Midwest '02, and this is my spun and 2 plied results. First
time spinning superwash, and it was a bit of a challenge,
as you can tell by the over twisted sections.
||3rd Handspun 6/02: Silk/Alpaca/Merino
(below), skeined. Scrumptious to pet! Will be knit into something
lacey in the future.
||3rd Handspun 6/02: Beautiful
Silk/Alpaca/Merino blend, given to me by my
LFS owner to get me hooked
on the "good stuff"! What a difference when I tried it, and was suddenly
able to spin fine singles! Then I 2-plied it for this final result.
Started early 2002, finished 3/03. Cheapo mystery wool
purchased at Michigan Fiber Fest, 2001, just
to learn on. Dark brown, gray, and blue, full of VM,
noiles, and vary laborious to spin. 7 skeins,
28 oz, enough for a warm barn-style jacket, I think!
||2nd Handspun 5/02: 3 bobbins filled with
2nd spinning effort, with 4 more or so to go. Cheapo mystery wool
purchased at Michigan Fiber Fest, 2001, to learn on. (7 finished skeins
||First Handspun 5/02: First skein of
handspun 2 ply Shetland, after washing and hanging to dry to set the
twist. Softened up nicely, and I think it might be useable, maybe a hat
in the future?
||First Handspun 5/02: My first handspun
skein, wound onto my niddy noddy. Shetland roving, purchased at a fiber
farm in Michigan. First I spun singles, then plied as a 2 ply to help
balance and even out the yarn. Not easy to work with, had a lot of VM
and noiles to deal with, but nice and cheap to
||Vintage Wool Carders, purchased 10/12/02:
Fairly nice condition, just need a few teeth straightened. Anyone
with info on these cards, please
||Hasbro Weave-Rite Loom: Vintage (60's
- 70's?) children's loom, purchased 10/13/02 at antique mall in
Columbus, Wis. Came with half the instruction book, but I don't know
it's age or any info really. Missing it's shuttle. Measures just about
functional, just needed a bit of cleaning up.
Any info on this toy loom would be appreciated!!!! Click on the link for
below to see my son Evan weaving on it.
Wheel Identification Help,
Please! If you know anything about these wheels,
me info. My friend Karen will really appreciate it!
||My friend Karen's wheel, purchased at
auction in Wisconsin. Scandinavian styled double-drive
wheel. Main wheel is 24" diameter. Nameplate (see last
picture) says "Calmer Strand 1982-2".
||Front view, showing
overall style and size. Single larger paddle treadle, hinged
at the front legs with metal eyelets for the metal ends of the bar
to go through (not directly into the front legs themselves like many
other traditional wheels).
||Back view, showing footman-it goes behind the
horizontal table and base of the wheel, (not through the base, like
some other traditional Scandinavian wheels that's I've seen).
||Flyer & Bobbin close up, small bobbins, only
3 1/2" long and 2 1/4" diameter across the whorl end. Single
speed whorl on the main flyer whorl.
||Name plate on back of table, just under the
MOA. Says: "Calmer Strand 1982-2"
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