Of Spinning Wheels
I am often asked when demonstrating about the cost of wheels and what is the best wheel for a beginner and quite honestly that is a difficult question! For as in all things spinning wheels are individuals with character and habits unique to each particular wheel.
My advice is usually to go to an event such as Wonderwool or Fibre East and try as many wheels as are available. But this isn't always possible - so how do you advise someone on the best wheel for them? When there are so many variables such as single or double treadle - this may seem a simple choice, but there are pros and cons for both.
I prefer, for obvious reasons, a single treadle and many people do like a single treadle, but there are equally as many who prefer a double. This maybe because using one leg for a long time aggravates a problem or they find it harder work - it is a matter of preference as is Double Drive or Scotch or Irish Tension (these last two depend on which is driven the bobbin or the flyer) and I would say that Scotch Tension is probably the easiest for a beginner.
So to the point of this post - it has come to my attention that the fantastic Bishopofknit the designer of the Dodec wheel is planning to release his second wheel in June the AltDes- again it is going to be cheap to make and will kinder to the metric system than the Dodec which was cut from imperial wood sizes. At the moment readers are being teased with hints! But if it is anything like as good as his first wheel I shall be getting out my tool kit once again..
The news on the web reveals the introduction of a wheel that retails at just €230 (under £200) for the single treadle version and it is called The Bliss and comes with three bobbins, a built-in lazy kate, Scotch Tension and weighs 4.5kg. If it as good as it seems then this will certainly be a realistic option for the newbie spinner. They are also selling a drum carder for €210 - these are being made by Louët for Woolmakers in the Netherlands so no import duties payable!!
Of Other Things
It has been pretty quiet on the spinning front so far this month but I am particularly pleased with this combo in baby camel and silk - destined for Forest Pansy
But as you can see I have been busy knitting - well a girl can never have too many shawls................