We’re not going to talk about yesterday. Yesterday didn’t count, it didn’t happen. I felt so horrible. I’m chalking it up to allergies and sinus infection. I was coughing and I had a bad headache. I didn’t feel like something the cat dragged in. It was more like something the cat coughed up! I mean, I didn’t even take my new Minion backpack and lunch bag with me. I made it through most of the day. I managed to do my paper presentation. I think it went well considering how I felt.
Today was a different story though. It’s like it was a do-over. We spent a large portion of the day spinning on each others wheels and spindles. What a great experience! I worked with some lovely wheels, but by doing so, it made me appreciate the versatility of my Lendrum that much more.
I started my adventure off on a Mud River wheel. This is the part where I kick myself in the butt for not getting photos. Anyway, it was a heavy duty wheel much like an Indian Head Spinner. It was a bit hard to treadle at first, but once I found my groove, I rocked it!
Next I spun on a Golding Travel Wheel. BEAUTIFUL. But it should be for the price of it!!!! The price tag on it is over $2,000! The ratio was a little higher on this one, 13:1. Comparable to the largest ratio on the fast flyer I’m used to at 15:1. It spun like a dream.
Next, I spun on a Chapin American Traveler. I liked it too, but it took some getting used to. I’m used to having to give my Lendrum wheel a bit of a nudge to start. With this one, you don’t touch the wheel at all.
Next I moved on the great wheel or walking wheel. I could just feel the history with this one. I told Wendy that if I hadn’t have done my paper on the spindle head for the Lendrum, I wouldn’t have had courage to try this one. It was a bit finicky when I tried it. It ended up having to be adjusted. I never got a chance to spin on it after it got adjusted though. But I’m not too upset about it – this one belongs to the Haliburton Museum. We have our spinning group meetings there a few times over the year and I’m sure if we asked, they’d probably let us take it for a whirl. Anyway, from what I did spin, I enjoyed it.
The last of the 5 that we were required to try as part of our assignment was an electric wheel. I’m sure they have their time and place, but I did not enjoy this one at all. I think it’s probably because for me, treadling allows me to feel connected to my yarn. I’m using my energy to put the twist in. This one uses electricity. Cheesy? Perhaps. I’m also the girl who can’t stand to wear sock or shoes when I’m spinning so that I can feel my wheel better. You know, four years ago I would have laughed at myself saying these things. It almost sounds eccentric! hehehe
I had some time left over so I tried out Sue’s Road Bug. I’m not going to say whether I liked or disliked it – the jury’s still out on that one. I did find it a bit difficult to treadle, but the setup was completely different from anything I’m used to.
I think that was it for wheel trials. I wanted to try to Navajo spindle, but the lineup was too long and we ran out of time.
Next we went on to strengthening our wool grading skills with Harriett. I hope someday I know even half of what this woman knows about fleece! I think I probably said that last year too. She helped me have an “ah-ha!” moment today in regards to describing a double-coated sheep breed. I’m also happy with my progress on my breed book. I haven’t started the documentation yet, but I think I’m over the half way mark for samples for the amount of breeds required. I’m hoping to be able to spin a small skein and knit a small swatch. This way it’ll be a good record when searching for the perfect sheep breed for a specific project.
Tomorrow we’ll carry on with our work with Harriett. Then it will be on to combing wool to prep for worsted and semi-worsted spinning with Beth and Beth.
One thing I’ve already noticed about level 2 is that they seem to be more generous with due dates. Okay, the first assignment was by like a week. But a week does make a huge difference. There is also a far bigger time given for the 11 skeins we need to spin as opposed to last year. This is good. Am I going to take advantage of this? Nope. Once my Goob starts back to school, Mama is diving in. Who knows, she may dive in before that!
I was trying to stay low-key about this course because I didn’t want to rush my limited summer time with my Goober. But now that he’s gone (and we have 7 more sleeps to go), I’m stoked. Bring it on!!!!