Sunday, 24 June 2012

Spinning Experiments

Today I got to play on a Great Wheel or Walking Wheel and a Canadian Production Wheel.  Wow!  What fun that was!  I spent about 4 hours on the Great Wheel, spinning up a quill full of Blue Faced Leicester fibre which was dyed with Dyer's Knotweed.  Blue, Blue Faced Leicester?  giggle   There's a bit of a learning curve there and I'll have to practice a few times to become proficient.  It's a lovely way to spin though, somewhat rhythmic and dance-like and very relaxing.   The blue skein weighs 27 grams for my efforts.  I'm sure with practice, my longdraw will become more proficient and I'll become more productive.  The Great Wheel was in fabulous shape for it's age.  I was told it was from about 1850.  It was nicely balanced, with a huge wheel and very, very pretty with it's dark wood and detailed turnings.

Then I switched to the Canadian Production Wheel.  The closest I'd ever been to a CPW is to be within droolable distance.  This was a much lighter coloured wood, with a bit more obvious wear.  If I thought the Great Wheel had a learning curve, I was wrong.  The CPW was totally different.  We had to back off the drive band to allow for a bit of drive band slippage to slow it down a tad, so I could draft fast enough to keep up with it.  Despite that, I had to do a long draw, nope, a very sloppy long draw in order to even try to match it's speed.  But fun!  Oh yeah baby.. a CPW can come home with me any time.   It's not a beginner's wheel by any means, but with some practice, it could be a dream to spin up quantities of fine yarn.  In the hour that I spun on the CPW, I spun 31 grams of brown Romney yarn.   That's a huge difference in time for the same quantity of fibre spun.
Next weekend, I get to do it all over again.. oh how sweet it that?  Maybe I'll remember my camera too!


Woolly Bits said...

sounds interesting, though I wouldn't want to spin standing all the time! and luckily I don't need to spin in "production speed" - it sounds rather stressfull to keep up with:) I thought about buying the lace flyer for my lendrum, but then I can spin fine enough with the fast flyer and don't fancy going into lace yarn production at all:))

Leigh said...

I've never spun on either one of those kinds of wheels. I can see who the Great Wheel would help with one's longdraw technique! I've only heard fabulous things about the CPW. Love that your BFL is blue!