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Archive for June, 2010

A bit of Bittersweet

In 2007, on my annual trip to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival (known to fiber enthusiasts simply as “RHINEBECK”), i made a bit of an impulsive purchase.  it was a purchase fueled by the desire to learn more about the fiber arts, while totally ignoring the fact that I was still a newbie to any fiber art other than knitting.

I purchased a spinning wheel.

Specifically, this one:

It’s the wonderful little Ashford Kiwi, with it’s wheel painted red, almost hidden by all of the other yarny goodness that we purchased that day.

I loved that wheel, although for the first year, I swear it had it out for me.  it wouldn’t spin evenly, the bobbin was always uneven, things got tangled.

then I realized, it had nothing to do with the wheel and everything to do with the fact that I VASTLY overestimated my skill in spinning.  I realized this when I traveled to Sock Summit and took a class on Spindle Spinning.  it was there that I realized that I couldn’t draft for shit and that my bobbin was uneven b/c I was taking too long to switch to the next hook!

and so I came home and applied myself to this new (to me, anyway) art of spinning.  and I loved it.  and I got good at it.

and then, I sort of outgrew my wonderful Ashford Kiwi.  The bobbins just didn’t hold enough, I couldn’t really change the options on it easily, etc, etc.  it was such a wonderful wheel to learn on, but here I realized that I had come as far as I could and it was time to get a new wheel.

that’s the bitter part.  i sold my wheel to a newbie spinner, gave it a hug and set it to its wonderful new home in the Adirondacks with an enthusiastic new owner.

and with that money, and some other funds I had been saving, I purchased a new wheel, one that has a wider array of configurations, more options for growth and, having played around with my friend Julie’s wheel, was like a dream to spin on.

I purchased a Lendrum Original Folding wheel with the Double Treadle.

it was totally sold out all over the US, so I called The Woolery to place my backorder.  I was told that they would be in by mid-June, shipped out immediately, so I figured I’d have mine by the end of June.  a bit sad for the delay, but all in all, not a huge hard ship.

then the Woolery worked their magic (I LOVE YOU!), and all of a sudden I got a notification that my wheel had shipped and would be arriving on June 2nd.

so I worked from home that day and obsessively tracked the UPS website.  And was reminded why, in my mind,  UPS stands for “U People Suck” (my opinion- don’t bother suing!).  At 3:05 pm, I hit the refresh button, only to see that a delivery attempt had been made but the recipient was not home.

BULLSHIT! especially since I was sitting on my sofa at the moment they were NOT RINGING my doorbell.  so I booked it down the stairs, realized the UPS truck was still on the block (although all the way down the other end) and in 85 degree heat and in platform heels, ran full out down the block to catch up with them.  you bet your ass I caught up with them! and then I ripped the UPS driver a new one (“sorry, that was my fault” he said; “no shit” i replied) came back upstairs, wrote a grumpy email to UPS and then…

you think I would have ripped open that box right then and there, right?

nope, I went and did more work.  I was quite proud of myself actually!

but at 6:05 I signed off and jumped on that box like a cat with a catnip mouse.  really, it was embarrassing.  not enough to stop me at the time, but in hindsight.

and there it was, in it’s glory

and I immediately marveled over the myriad parts that came with it.  there was the regular flyer and mother of all, the fast flyer, the plying apparatus (larger mother of all with a larger orifice and bobbin and a HUGE drive band), and a really nice tensioned lazy kate (although I still swear I’m buying one from a friend’s husband- can’t show it yet, but soon, I hope).

I assembled it and although it was 80 degrees at this point and i was sweating like a pig, I had no choice but to start spinning.

You wouldn’t be able to resist either 😉

This was absolutely the SWEET part 😉

happy knitting (and spinning!) to all the fiber crazies out there!

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