Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vacation: Part 2 (Some assembly required)

When I say "Vacation" I don't mean I went anywhere special physically. I was home doing chores that needed to be done which I had no time to do because my sister and I work and commute. I'm not complaining. Things got done so I'm happy. However, I did allow my imagination to go on vacation hence our building materials for raised beds for the garden and my foray into spindle spinning (successful at last). I also looked in on E-Bay at all the spinning wheels. Now I routinely do this but I never buy anything. I mean, I just look. I drool a lot but I never buy. We already have three wheels and a pocket wheel on order for my sister (she's number 36 right now) and we live in a tiny ranch style home so it's not like I need another wheel. The problem is, when I go away somewhere on vacation, I routinely set aside money to buy something nice as a memento of my trip. Just because I didn't go anywhere doesn't mean I didn't give myself permission to buy what I wanted.

See above the wheel I got on E-Bay while I was on vacation. Of course, in the picture on the website it was
assembled. I used the "Buy It Now" option because I really don't like to bid for stuff if I don't have to. The wheel is a "Little Peggy" wheel and I purchased it from a seller identified as "pippygirl34" on E-Bay. She was great to buy from and the wheel came very quickly from New Zealand. It came as you see it and it came with written instructions but no pictures for assembly. I put it together and found, you guessed it, left over pieces. A few e-mails later I had it assembled correctly and I have to say she spins very nicely, quietly and is a pleasure to use. It's not as fast as a modern wheel but it does spin a nice lace weight single so far. The wood is really beautiful and I didn't know anything about the wheel or who made it when I was buying it so I went to a nice website called "New Zealand spinning wheels and their makers" and got a little information on the wheel I have. I won't bore you with details but it's about 30 years old and made by John Rappard. The design is based on an old Shetland wheel he was given permission to emulate and is made of a local Beech wood. Mine has a fairly dark stain though it looks lighter in the pictures. I love my "new" old wheel. Any dings or scratches are from "honorable wear" from the elderly gentleman who owned it before me. This wheel can be set up for either double drive or as a single drive with Scotch tension. I have pictures of both types of arrangements. I did replace the fishing line that came on the Scotch Tension with black cord instead and I'm using a cotton drive-band. This wheel actually spins lace weight better with the Scotch tension/single drive configuration so that"s what I settled on. I am currently spinning a little Lisa Souza fiber in colorway "Awwtum". Lastly, I did pick up two more spindles. A Cascade spindle "Rainer" made of Rainer flame wood for the whorl and Walnut for the shaft and weighs about an ounce from Carolina Home Spun as well as a Ken Leadbetter spindle off his site. That spindle has a Walnut & Dichroic glass inlay whorl with a Maple shaft (1.94 ounces). The glass is by Andrea Frost of "Rabbits and Rainbows". Good thing it was only a week long vacation or I could have gotten into much more trouble!