Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Search For the Perfect Wheel

I already have one wheel - let's not mention that it's missing the flyer/bobbin/bearing assembly. But I still have a wheel.

Leo is completely enamored by it, and does not want me to get rid of it. Unfortunately it's not exactly restoration material either. So I'm not sending it away to Oregon to get restored. Just not worth it.

So I've set my sights on a Kromski Mazurka wheel from Poland, which I will be purchasing from Bubbie's Farm. I love the craftsmanship, and if Leo is enamored by the craftsmanship of the old antique we have right now, just wait till he sees the Mazurka completely assembled.

Yesterday I went to WLA to check out a wheel I found on Craigslist for $95. The picture was a bit fuzzy but it looked like a complete Saxony wheel and I figured that I had nothing to lose. I just had to check it out myself. When I got there, the wheel was a Saxony style alright, and she said that her grandmother had had it built in the Netherlands and a few years ago, she had a prop guy restore some of the spokes on the wheel.

I have read Carol Kroll's The Whole Craft of Spinning cover to cover so I knew what to do. I spun the wheel to make sure it wasn't warped (it knocked against the maiden constantly), the bearings had to be replaced they were so dried out, and the bobbin was broken in some parts. The footman was broken, too. For $95, I was going to be throwing my money away, and so I had to say thank you and drive home.

But today while searching online I chanced upon the Pocket Wheel by Doug Dodd of Washington. It is so cute! At just 6 pounds, it's perfect for traveling and there is an unending smorgasbord of ratios by just sliding the wheel up or down the rod.

I had been checking the Hitch Hiker by The Merlin Tree and actually almost sprung up the money for it ($295), but I'm not a fan of the foot-shaped treadle. The hitch hiking thumb I don't mind, but the foot, yeah, it is an issue with me. I do reflexology and I really don't want to be reminded of what I do for a living every time I spin. I knit and spin so I don't have to think of work.

Doug's wheel on the other hand, is simple. I like that it's made of beautiful woods and then there's that ratio thing...I'm off to write him a check for a $100 as a deposit to get my wheel started.

Here's a video (silent one, so nothing's wrong with your 'puter) of the Pocket Wheel in action!

Isn't she cool????

Guess the Mazurka may have to wait..

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