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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Spinning on the Symphony

Thanks for all the complements on the new wheel! I'll have to get a picture of it next to my Majacraft Rose. You know in your head that Saxony wheels are bigger than Castle wheels (the footprint alone is a big difference), but sitting next to each other, the Symphony makes the Rose look like a toy wheel. The Rose isn't jealous though, after all she has Happy and Gribboly Nibbet. The Kromski wheels are among the most historically accurate wheels available today, but I'm not sure where the spinners of yore kept their little plastic action figure mascots - they keep sliding off the tilted table!

Above you can see the first skein I did on the Symphony. It's Coopworth, which is the fiber I learned to drop spindle with, the fiber I learned how to spin on a spinning wheel with, and the fiber I return to when I'm learning something new and don't want to deal with learning quirks of a new fiber. Its a two ounce skein and I didn't count yardage. This is the leftovers from the blue and green Easter Egg dyeing I did a long time ago. I just drafted the colors together, so there are some parts that are pretty evenly mixed, some parts that are more green and some that are more blue. This is a great technique for mixing colors if you don't have a drum carder or just want to add some depth to your yarn color. You could easily mix two or more colors of the dyed commercial top that's easily available out there and make a much more interesting yarn. Deb Menz' Color in Spinning is an excellent book about different ways to get different color effects with your spinning. It's also some of the best spinning eye candy out there!

The Symphony can be used with either Double Drive or Scotch Tension. I had never spun on Double Drive before so I asked the Spindler's group for pro's and con's and found out that Double Drive was the earliest system used for flyer type spinning wheels and that when given the choice, some of the more experienced spinners suggested using the Double Drive for slippery fibers like angora and silks. So, after I had a feel for the Symphony with the Coopworth, I pulled out some Merino, Silk and Angora - Opalessence from The Woolen Rabbit to be exact - and started spinning it. I'm spinning it to about 38 wpi as singles and am hoping for lace weight as a finished yarn. I have 6 ounces of it. I'm already seeing some angora blooming and you can see the shine from the silk in the picture above.

One other thing I've started doing with this project, but I hope to continue is to keep better records of my spinning. I picked up a couple of small spiral notebooks, one for each wheel, and I wrote the ratios for each whorl on the inside front cover. Then I wrote the fiber source, color name, fiber content and amount of fiber purchased, as well as which ratio I'm using to spin the singles and what wpi I'm spinning them to. I also included the start date for the spinning and will include the finish date and the total yardage. There's space for me to attach samples of yarn in the notebooks too, which I might or might not do. I figure this will help me keep track if I need to spin more yarn of a certain type or just see how I've done things so I can make more educated guesses how to spin things in the future.


Blogger ~Sherie~ said...

The Coopworth looks lovely, those colors are so soothing and relaxing. Glad you're enjoying your new toy! How many wheels do you have anyway?? Want to *donate* one over my way??? LOL

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

I love the colors in that easter egg yarn. I'll have to try that some time. I just got some Opalesscence myself :) I love TWR fibers :)

12:32 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Drool, drool, drool! Your spinning is gorgeous as usual! You're making me want to spin right now, but alas...... you know what the Grinch brought me this year... lol!

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are doing a wonderful job and making me realize how far I have to go and how much I have to learn. I am really enjoying my new Symphony. My husband thinks I'm really crazy because I get up early just to spin a little before I go to work.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Yarn Collectors Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous spinning wheel!! Maybe one of these days I will progress to this point....VERY envious!!! Looking forward to all you spin!!

10:13 AM  
Blogger flwrhead said...

Congrats on your new wheel! I got Color in Spinning early this month and with the holidaze, haven't done much but look at the pretty pictures. I'll keep your suggestion of drafting colors together in mind, though, as I don't have a drum carder or hand cards! I love that angora blend. Must...resist...buying...fiber...

5:45 PM  

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