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Return to Novice Status

Old skills applied to old new to me toys make me feel like I’m learning all over again.

The little ancient Saxony wheel is up and running, or plodding.  The effort to keep it going wears my right hip out, but it will be authentic to the period when spinning in costume.  The first skein of yarn off of it is only marginally better than the first skein that I ever spun.

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I have to admit, since I only had two bobbins and they were full of the singles, it was plyed on the Louet.  Now there are 3 bobbins.

The quill for the Great Wheel came and it was just an ornament for a few days while videos were watched and study of why the 49″ diameter wheel seemed to tilt inward at the top, causing the drive band to walk off.  It is difficult enough to learn a new technique when the equipment if functioning correctly.  It appears that the axle that holds the wheel on was not at right angle to the post holding the axle.  Upon close examination, it looked like a not very good repair had been made at some point and with much effort, half a dozen or so  old square headed nails were removed from around it, allowing it to be removed and reset at the correct angle.

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A bit more effort and the wheel was remounted, but touched the supporting table.  More is being learned about antique wheel maintenance than I believed was possible.  The upright that holds the wheel had to be removed and shimmed so that the wheel cleared the table.  Tonight some singles have been spun on that wheel.  Not really the prettiest, but a beginning.

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The other new fiber toy that came home the same weekend as the Great Wheel is the supported spindle.  That is another learning curve.  A drop spindle was the first spinning that I did and began doing it about 7 ot 8 years ago, but the support spindle is a different technique, so three new techniques to learn in just a couple of months.

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There can be no more.  There is no more room to store and use the wheels and spindles, no room for other crafts in “my space,” a corner of the loft with my chair, three spinning wheels, Lazy Kate, Swift, spinning stool, bookcase of spindles and fiber books,  and crates of Cabin Crafted stock.

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This is my cozy corner to learn, relax, read, spin, and knit.  Back to honing my skills so I don’t look like a total novice on April 1, the first day back at Smithfield Plantation.

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