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Or two, actually. Tax refunds are a beautiful, wondrous thing. Sure, you could be boring and dull and pay bills or put it into savings, or whatever. Or you could buy two spinning wheels.

Yes, you read that right. Two spinning wheels. I now own three spinning wheels. I had been meaning to own two, using my tax return to buy a modern wheel, but then a nice little electric Clemes and Clemes came up on a Ravelry equipment destash board and let’s just say I lack anything close to impulse control. So I snagged it.

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And I completely adore it. I love it. I brought it home, set it up, and spun 100 yards of a two ply in a couple hours. I’m talking divided, spun, wound off the bobbin (cause it only has the one), plied, skeined, and dunked it in the bath, all in a couple of hours. OMG FAST. This is the yarn in question:

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The fiber was sent along with the wheel, courtesy of the person who sold it to me. It was Shetland roving, from her own sheep, I gather. It was true roving, not top, so I played a little with long draw. It didn’t puff up in the wash like I’m told long draw spinning does, so it was to limited success. I suspect part of the problem was too much plying twist and part of the problem was trying too hard to control things instead of letting them be.

The weekend after bringing home Cecile, which is what I’ve decided to call the e-spinner, I went to Uniquities, my LYS, for a spinning open house and to try out some wheels. I test drove a Majacraft Pioneer, a Kromski Fantasia and a Minstrel, and a Schacht Ladybug.

I brought home the Ladybug:

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I am completely in love with the Ladybug, y’all. It’s so quiet and the treadling is so smooth and it doesn’t wobble or shake or fall apart. It has a proper brake band and I can adjust the tension. It’s beautiful. It doesn’t currently have a name besides “the Ladybug”, but I’m sure it’ll tell me what it wants to be called at some point.

My first skein on this lovely wheel was a second attempt at long draw, to much more success this time:

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The fiber was targhee/alpaca/mohair/glitz from what is rapidly becoming my favorite fiber company, Avalon Springs. The prep is just so lovely, perfect for woolen spinning, no predrafting required. Love. I got about 155 yards of around a dk/worsted weight. Very lofty, very puffy. Still not quite the yardage I would expect from woolen spinning and four ounces, but I completely adore the resulting skein. It’s pretty soft too.

Needless to say, between the two wheels, I’ll be spinning up a storm.

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Or: Ravelry folks are the kindest people you will ever meet

You guys. YOU GUYS. Let me spin you a tale (pun ABSOLUTELY intended). A tale of kindness and goodness and generosity. So I’m a fairly poor 20-something living in a basement. My disposable income is not great. I make do. I spend a lot of time on Ravelry in various forums, notably (for this story) the Unravellers forum. We take apart thrift store sweaters to save money on yarn. I have, on occasion, bemoaned the fact that I can’t afford a spinning wheel to ply all my cobweb weight cashmere and also fiber. Anyway, I got a pm the other day from the sweetest person ever. She said her friend had given her a spinning wheel that had belonged to the friend’s mother. Having no use for a wheel but being a member of Ravelry (and thus access to people who might want and use a spinning wheel), she took it. And then pmed me saying she had this wheel and had seen my posts and would I like it?

Would I like it?

Would I like it?

I could have it, she said, so long as I reimbursed her for the postage.

*excited screaming*

Needless to say, I accepted her INCREDIBLY generous offer and the wheel was shipped off. It was delivered yesterday, and I spent a couple of hours putting it together and figuring out how it worked. I had some issues getting the flyer to spin and it was a whole thing, but I got it working. This is my lovely new wheel in her new home:

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I’ve named her Alexandra. I wanted something sort of English and regal. My first thought was Elizabeth, but that’s what my dress form is called, so that was out. Victoria didn’t seem quite right. So Alexandra it is.

The wheel is a Saxony style of unknown make and model. There aren’t any markings or anything on it. It appears to have both flyer and bobbin whorls, so I can set it up with Irish, Scotch, or double band tension. I set it up with Irish tension since, after a bit of playing, that seemed to make the most sense to me. I played around with some extra bits of fiber and once I thought I’d gotten the hang of it, I started in with some nice fiber.

This is Mountain Colors Targhee, which I purchased at a yarn shop in Vienna, Uniquities. I’m going to two-ply it I think. It’s spinning up SUPER fast on the wheel. I’ve got about 2 oz of 4 oz on the bobbin here, and that was after about three-ish hours of spinning yesterday and maybe another hour tonight. No way I could do that on a spindle.

I’m going to spin this up for Lisa, the amazing person that brought this wheel into my life. I don’t anticipate it taking very long, since work today was an exercise in patience being away from my new shiny for so long.

I’m gonna have to buy a lot more fiber to satisfy my new spinning need. I’m in love.