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Dawn's Spinning

I learned to spin in 2001.  I am basically self-taught from books, videos, reading the SpinList, and occasionally watching other spinners at fiber fairs, etc...

I spin on a Majacraft Millie, a  Louet S10, a Merlin Tree HitchHiker travel wheel, and a Country Craftsman wheel.


The Millie was my first wheel, purchased mail-order from Paradise 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 effectively! 


The 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 do now. 

My Wheels

My first wheel: Millie, by Majacraft, purchased new, 2000, from

My spinning spot, in the bay window of my 150+ year old Victorian home's front parlor room. My second wheel: Lucy, a Louet S10, purchased used, 2004
(click on small images for larger versions)

My HitchHiker wheel, posing in the passenger side of our '62 Chevy Impala, the first car it took a trip in. My third wheel: A HitchHiker wheel, by David Paul/The Merlin Tree, purchased 2005.  Great travel wheel, seen here posing behind our '62 Chevy Impala. My 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 tight fit.
For more 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. 



Right: How my spinning spot looks now, with the addition of this beautiful wheel.

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 Sithean Fibers.  Thanks Judith! The Corriedale and Cori/Mohair wound onto the matching niddy noddy.  Toni Neil (owner of The Fold, in Marengo, IL) donated the niddy noddy from her old stock from when she use to sell these wheels!  Thanks again Toni!
Our kitty, Cookie, guarding the Country Craftsman wheel, with Oreo in the background, basking in the sunshine on the warm radiator.

Some of My Spinning (and Dyeing) Projects

Click on the small picture to see a larger version.  Use the BACK button on your browser to return here.

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!  Email me for details

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:

White/Multi 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 angle. 
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 S10. 
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 yarns! 
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.
2nd Handspun: 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 pictured above.)
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 learn with.
Vintage Wool Carders, purchased 10/12/02Fairly nice condition, just need a few teeth straightened. Anyone with info on these cards, please email me!
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 11"x9".  Fully functional, just needed a bit of cleaning up. Any info on this toy loom would be appreciated!!!! Click on the link for Evan's Home below to see my son Evan weaving on it.


Wheel Identification Help, Please! If you know anything about these wheels, please send 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"
Karen's Next Mystery Wheel! Purchased at auction in Wisconsin, this is a small, rather miniature wheel, possibly a child's wheel, or wheel maker's sample wheel?  It was definitely a used wheel though, with the treadle showing the area of wear where a foot worked this wheel long ago.  See photos with yardstick and dollar to see scale of small wheel. There is a small empty hole on the front left side of the front crossbar, possibly for a small distaff, or maybe to hold an orifice hook?  No markings on this wheel to help ID it. 


  Front of Wheel Back of Wheel with dollar bill for scale and next to yardstick


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