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May 27, 2008
the minstrel

Here's my wheel, fully assembled.
And here's what I'm spinning. Corriedale cross, hand dyed over the weekend.. And yes, you are free to ask yourself whether or not I'm in a color rut. I briefly considered cooler colors, but then, knew that I wouldn't go wrong with this. It's got some browner sections that really summon aged terra cotta.

I just tech edited a pattern for Miriam Felton called the Foliage Shawl and it's all I can do not to cast on immediately. You can see it on her blog. It's really gorgeous. Leafy, with a knitted on border. Do I really need two triangular shawls in similar colorways? I love the first one, why wouldn't I love the second?

06:55 PM | Comments (1)
May 20, 2008
the wheel

After months of deliberating and days of waiting, my new wheel arrived on Friday, wrapped in Polish newspapers and signed by the makers.

For those in the know, or those who care, it's a Kromski Minstrel. I wanted a castle style double treadle wheel. And I wanted something pretty. Something that would like right at home in our parlor. And this definitely fits the bill. It came with some assembly required, but it didn't take long to put together. An hour or so, aided by some cimne piwo (residents of Chicago and Warsaw will be able to decipher that one... and really, appropriate, as it's the only Polish I know!) I set it up with the Scotch tension and single drive since that's what I was familiar with from the Ashford Traveler, but it can be set up with a double drive as well.

If all these terms seem arcane, consider Lazy Kate, niddy-noddy, footman, distaff, maidens, mother-of-all... spinning is an old art and it's got an argot to prove it.

I love that there are no plastic parts. And I have to say that I was impressed by the recyclability of the packaging. All cardboard and newspaper, save just a handful of plastic wrap and a small square of styrofoam. Such an anachronism in these days of planned obsolescence. Or I suppose the spinning wheel was more or less rendered obsolete a couple of centuries ago and thus remains outside the fray of plastic parts and shrink wrap.

12:49 AM | Comments (3)