Hello blog! I havent forgotten aboout you, I promise. In fact, I think of you frequently and with longing, wishing I had some time to devote to you and some more love to give you, but with and two and a half year old and a nine week old, you don't figure highly in my list of priorities. C'est la vie. However, even as I'm typing, my fingers still instinctively know where the letters are on the keyboard, so all is not lost. And there was no way I could fail to record my most recent acquisition.
Back in September, the Midnight Sheep paid a visit with a new acquisition she had made. Picked up from a charity shop for £50 following a tip-off, this beautiful Haldane Shetland spinning wheel.
I haven't looked at these photos for a while actually, and looking now, I can again see why I loved this wheel so much. It has a beautiful, antiqued finish, and the wood from which it's made is solid with a lovely grain. The wheel is simple, but with strong attention to detail. I particularly love the maidens and flyer; the maidens (for the spinning uninitiated, the upright posts on either side of the bobbin in the first photo) aren't excessively turned, but have enough detail to look interesting - I think that is the beauty of this wood actually; too much turning detail would take away from that beauty. Goodness, I'm sounding like a spinning wheel critic! I'm certainly not qualified to take that position! The thing I loved best about this wheel though, to cut a long story short, was the fact that it's upright. I found the height of the flyer, in comparison to my wheel, much more comfortable and convenient. I was lucky enough to babysit this wheel overnight, as it wasn't working properly and I offered Marno's services to Helena (the Sheep) to fix it for her. This turned out to be a very simple task. She'd known it wasn't working properly, but intuition told her to go for it, and it turns out she was right. So I had the pleasure of using it that evening once it had been fixed.
Although, as is evident from my lack of blog posts, I haven't had a tremendous amount of time to produce craft of any sort, Marno had been saying he wanted to buy me a new wheel, as mine hadn't been working properly since I took it to Brecon Bible School to do a demonstration last August. It had never been able to reach it's potential anyway, but I wasn't sure this was the year to replace it. But two weeks before Wonderwool, I happened to mention to Marno that it was on, and he responded, "Aren't we going?" I had just assumed we would be unable to because of having a new baby, but weare very blessed in that Laurie is delightful, and very good. So I started to think that maybe we could go, and Marno said we could look at a new wheel. So, thenceforth, all my ideas of saving it until I'm less busy went out of the proverbial window. I became ridiculously excited at the prospect, and started trawling the Ravelry spinning group for possibilities. My prerequisites were that it should be double drive and upright, and preferably a light finish. Oh, and there was a price limit too!
It wasn't long before I came upon the Kromski make, through recommendations on Ravelry. The Minstrel sounded exactly what I was looking for, and I was able to view it on Youtube through the fantastic Tim Horschler from New Voyager Trading, who did a full, in depth, and very informative review of it. Enough for me to decide, after a little more research, that this was the wheel for me! I then looked on Ebay, and, lo and behold, there was "one left in stock". Well, stuff waiting for Wonderwool, I thought, where they may not be available to take away on the day; lets get this thing NOW! As you can see, my attitude changed somewhat!
So, two working days later, it arrived. Unfortunately I had had the MMR vaccine the week before, and was suffering a bad reaction from it - bad enough to not even open the box on the day it arrived. So it wasn't until two days later that Marno assembled it for me, with a small amount of my help, and another Tim Horschler video, this time on how to assemble a Kromski Minstrel - thanks Tim!
So, finally, here is my new wheel, already broken in with some Shetland, which I've nearly finished plying.
I love that it has a lazy kate incorporated - makes plying so easy.
As you can imagine, I left Wonderwool with a massive amount of fibre. I actually bought no yarn this year, instead I bought fibre to spin into yarn for projects I have on my Rav queue... hmmm, when I'll be wearing those items is anyone's guess!
Have to go, as Noah has awoken from his slumber. Funnily enough, I have been reminded of why I haven't posted for so long - it's taken me an hour to write this post, half of it one handed with a suckling baby on my lap!
So long until next time, whenever that may be... xxx