Wheel Wobble

Yesterday when my friend was using my Kromski Prelude, I noticed the wheel was wobbling a bit and as I watched, I realized that the drive wheel supports were both a tad loose. I have two Allen wrench sets in my tool box, one metric, one American standard. Since the Kromski is Polish made, I brought in the metric set, which is missing the 3 mm size. I feared that the Allen head screws were 3 mm, but got lucky, they were 4 mm. Now the set is missing two sizes because I put the 4 mm one in my wheel repair kit. Hopefully if I need it elsewhere, I will remember where it is. The design of the wheel makes it very difficult to get to those two screws and I feared I was going to have to remove two legs to tighten them. That would have been a hassle as the treadle and its connected footman are attached to one of the legs. With some difficulty and the short end of the Allen wrench, I managed to get them tight and the wobble is gone.

As I was so enamored with my new spindle, I continued working with it last night until the entire fiber sample was spun. Then I hand wound it off the spindle into a tiny center pull ball and plyed it on itself. It was such a tiny amount, that it produced only 24 yards of light fingering weight yarn.

With the 73 yards spun on the Jenkins Turk recently, if I can find a good coordinating fiber to spin, I will use those two as garter ridges in a hat.

Tonight, I am spinning on the wheel, some Coopworth and Alpaca roving, and on the new spindle, I have some silver Shetland. I want to finish the fiber on the wheel, there is very little left, but the bobbin is getting full, so I may be playing chicken with the bobbin. When I leave for my fiber retreat weekend next Thursday, I want to leave with empty bobbins and some fun fibers to spin. I have one colorful BFL braid, two others at least 4 ounces and a 2 ounce due in the mail, hopefully to arrive before I leave.

I also need to make some lip balm that has been requested by friends prior to my leaving. Hopefully, the bobbins will be emptied, the lip balm made and I will concentrate on knitting the Close to You mini shawl and the strandwork hat both on the needles and spin on the spindles until I leave.

A New Treasure

I knit because I make yarn, but given the opportunity to just sell the yarn I make, I would just spin.

Today, a friend that I started on spinning about a year ago came over with a bag of gorgeous Leicester Longwool lamb roving, and an entire Leicester Longwool lamb fleece in the raw. After she started spinning with a drop spindle I gave her, then a Turkish spindle I sold her, she bought several more spindles on her own, and then the travel wheel that I had tried her on. I had gotten a small Saxony wheel made by Kromski and previously owned by a good friend who passed away. The little Saxony is one I can take to retreats and to costumed demonstrations and the travel wheel was not being used. She has become quite a good spinner, but is having some difficulty with the travel wheel due to it’s size. She came over to discuss how to clean raw wool, to try my Kromski to see if it might be a wheel for her to seek out, and a lesson in using wool combs. We had a very nice afternoon playing with fiber and broadening her scope a bit.

After she left, I anxiously dashed up to the mailbox as I was awaiting my newest spinning treasure, a Golding spindle that with it’s dark wood and black ring will be one I can take to demonstrations. Each Golding comes with a small sample of wool usually from Inglenook Fibers. I had just ordered some fiber from them and looked at the colorway that was sent as a sample. If I had just waited a few days, I not only would have bought that colorway, but would have gotten a discount from them. Maybe if I sell another pair of fingerless mitts or a hat, I will return to their online shop and purchase more of it.

This spindle spins forever. I love my little Jenkins Turkish spindle, it is fun to use and to ply from but very limited in amount it will hold, but the Goldings are primo.

A Beautiful Day

We have had so much rain, that the occasional day or two without are such a treat. Today was the second in a row and the last for a while. Yesterday the pretty day was used for outdoor chores. Today, we took a walk. Because of back issues suffered by my love, when we go out together, we keep to smooth surfaces and not too much elevation changes. Between Blackburg and Christiansburg is an old rail grade that has been paved with asphalt, ideal for joggers, bikers, the occasional skateboarder, and lots of walkers, powered conveyance is not allowed. Because of it’s location and access points on and off of it, if you walk near lunch time, you see lots of business folks walking on their lunch break. In some areas, you see houses and parts of Virginia Tech Campus, other parts are in the woods or through the edge of farm fields. I’m not sure how long it is now, as they have extended it in two directions since I moved here. Today, we left from the original start, near the public library branch that for the first 1/2 mile passes between houses, then opens up to agricultural study fields and between a lacrosse and cricket field and the local small plane airport. We walk about 2 to 2 1/2 miles.

This time of year, the spring flowers on the banks behind the houses are beginning to peak through.

There was a bee busy with the crocus. I have wanted a pussy willow since I moved here and have tried to root it unsuccessfully. Maybe I will order one already rooted this year.

Up on our farm, nothing is blooming yet. I don’t even see daffodil shoots, but the iris, day lilies, and Autumn Joy sedum are beginning to emerge. Later, the forsythia, lilacs, and dogwood will bloom, but not for another 6 to 8 weeks. I fear that the warm winter will cause the fruit trees to bloom early and then get hit with a spring frost. I noticed that the garlic and potato onions are up a few inches and they too might get burned back, but if they have established roots from the bulbs, will recover. If the fruit trees bloom early and get hit by frost, we won’t get Asian pears and apples this summer. That will be a disappointment.

I’m glad we got out. Tomorrow will still be in the low 50’s, but rainy. Then we have cooler cloudy days, a couple with sunshine (maybe) but much colder, then back to rain again. When it isn’t rainy, we will add layers and gloves and go on out and walk. It is good for both of us.