This is the saga (and oh, Lord, is it ever a saga) of the search for the perfect wheel.
Before I start, for those of you driven here by the power of the all-mighty Google: hello, I'm sorry that you are probably disappointed. But if you're looking for a really great article on choosing a spinning wheel over here at Abby's Yarns' blog. The article explains a lot of the ins and outs of choosing a wheel and what-is-what-is-what. Go there, read, enjoy. I'd love to have you back here, though. 😉
For about a year now I've wanted to learn to spin. Last year, when I went to Maryland Sheep and Wool, I saw (and played with) these awesome little spinning wheels called Hitchhikers.
They're made to travel. I had originally sold myself on getting one because (1.) they're a great price ($350 for a double treadle) and (2.) they don't take up a lot of room. Plus, who can resist the outstretched thumb on top and feet-shaped pedals? Love it. As a military family, we never know what kind of house we're going to get, so I try and keep things small-ish. In the end, I decided that, after reading some reviews, it wouldn't be such a great "only" wheel. I may pick one up for travel when I go to MDS&W this May. I still like them. 😉
After the Hitchhiker, I looked at The Babe.
Apologies for stealing your photo, random person on Flickr, I couldn't find a bigger picture.
Mostly, I liked the price ($226 for a double treadle), but they also have a great reputation. Unfortunately, I cannot get past the fact that it looks like a pile of PVC pipes and…is that a film reel? I don't like plastic crochet hooks and I don't like plastic wheels. I don't know, I just like wood. Spinning wheel snob, fiber snob…yeah, that's pretty much me.
So, after casting the Babe aside, I started looking at Kromski spinning wheels. I reeeeeeallly liked them. I love the traditional looks and the pretty woods.
I love the Mazurka and how traditional it looks, but it's only a single treadle and it looks quite delicate to me. My friend from college, Alice, who works as a reenactment actor demonstrating spinning for the lovely city of Charleston, has one that she uses for work. I told her my concerns over it being "delicate". Her response was:
"I have a mazurka…it's been thrown on the back of horses, shot at by
cannons, head -butted by angry sheep, and spun on by multiple
children…still looks flawless, no broken parts, and it's lite enough
that I can carry it one handed."
I told her that anyone who didn't know her and know what she did would probably think she was a pirate who liked kids.
I also looked at the Sonata. It was a bit bigger than I wanted, but it folded up into it's own travel bag, which I really liked.
So, I looked into buying a used Sonata, twice, thinking I could save a few dollars and maybe get some extra accessories. The first one got sold before our tax return came through. The second one had the flakiest seller ever. She flip-flopped about when and where and how much and I finally got fed up. After whining and pouting, Mike said to just shut up and order a new wheel. Mike's a virgo and therefore a tightwad, so when he says, "buy it", you don't argue.
In the end, I ordered myself a walnut-finish Sonata. It should be here Friday and I CANNOT WAIT. I'll post pictures when I get it.
Keeping with the theme of yarn: I made a trek to Ikea this week and got this wardrobe to put my yarn in. I love it because there is nothing for anything to get caught on and it's on wheels, which makes it perfect for my long skinny yarn closet.
And I bought this to organize my felt sheets and fiber. They hang on the wall:
Huzzah! Repurposed furniture!