Thursday, March 01, 2007

Spinning wheels

I tried two wheel at NETA Spa a few weeks ago. (seems longer!) I tried the Hitchhiker and the Ashford Kiwi wheels. Between the two, if I really had to choose, I'd go with the Kiwi - it was easier for me to treadle. And even though it was a double-treadle, I could use it as a single treadle. The Hithhiker is a single treadle, but if I didn't have it just right, the flyer bangs into my leg (ouch) and I could only get (and keep) it going consistently in one direction.

I liked them both, but.... the more I try out wheels (and I admit, I've only used 3), the more I think I'm going to stay with spindles. When I spindle, I like the rhythm change from drafting to winding on to drafting to winding on to, well, you get the idea. It also gives me a chance to stretch my hands a bit. And I can sit or stand or walk around a bit while spindling. Can't do that on a wheel - once you sit, that's it. There's no defined stop point - as in, ok, I'll spin 3 more wind-on's and THEN I'm going to bed. With a wheel, you just keep going and going and going and, well, you get the idea.

I just remembered an article in Spin-Off magazine, maybe a year ago, I'll have to look it up, where they interviewed a spindler who said something like that - that once wheels became used, it limited a person's (usually a woman) mobility. You can't multi-task on a wheel, like you can with a spindle. Ok, granted, I can't multi-task on a spindle either, but from reading some spinning books, multi-tasking while spindling isn't unheard of. But you can't really multi-task on a wheel.

But all that aside, the thing with the wheel (or sewing machine or knitting machine) for me, is that I feel that I'm not in control anymore - the wheel sets the pace and I better keep up. With the spindle, I set the pace.

OTOH, the fiber sandwich stuff I'm spinning up? I think it'd be easier on a wheel - if for no other reason than to make it easier to ply in one piece.

Hmmm, maybe use the spinning wheel just for plying. That's an idea, I can spin singles in small amounts and join them together and then ply to one big bobbin (big being relative, I mean something that can hold more than I can manage on a spindle). I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one who spindles singles and plies on a wheel. hmmmmm....

No comments: