This weekend, I had a spinning adventure with my new/old spinning wheel. What spinning wheel? The Ashford Traditional I found at an upscale thrift shop in the middle of last semester. As I was checking out, the guy at the counter asked me, “Are you going to use it?”

Yes, my good sir, I just had to wait until finals were over (and the next round has yet to begin).

I do know how draft on my drop spindle, but I wanted to get a feel for the wheel before trying to coordinate *that*, so I broke out a wheel of Icelandic pre-yarn I’d gotten for my birthday. (Yes, spinning one’s pre-yarn sort of defeats the purpose, but I like the weight of spun pre-yarn).

No pictures of the action: the wheel resides in our living room, which is so dim, even with all the lights on, it makes the front parlor in Cranford look like Willie Wonka’s TV room. Ok–so maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.

An evening of pedaling gave me two of these:

Which I left to sit overnight before skeining:

(The niddy-noddy came with the wheel, which was thrilled me to death)

I have a tendency to overspin:

So I soaked both skeins in cold water, whacked them out, and hung them to dry with hangers weighing them down. No picture–our clothesline looks out over a not-terribly-prepossessing vista of gravel and cinderblock wall.

And now I have these:

Which is just about enough for a shawlette. (!!!)

The wheel is quite nice. Had I bought new, I think I would’ve gone with one of those little compact guys, for less unobtrusive storage and because they don’t have as much of a tendency to scootch away as you work, but I knew the odds that I’d walk into another thrift shop and find a gently used spinning wheel with all its parts and accessories at a really good price. My next mission is to find some oil (WD-40 works in a pinch, but I’d rather my wheel and the yarn that comes off it does not smell like a car) and coordinate drafting. Ooh, the excitement!

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