Friday, September 25, 2009

New Spinning Wheel "Little Lamb"

I've been wanting a new spinning wheel for a while. It's not that I don't love my Babe, but I wanted one with a more traditional look that I could possibly take to Renaissance Fairs. I also wanted a second wheel so I could teach others how to spin even when they didn't have a wheel.

With all the types and brands of spinning wheels available today, I was overwhelmed with the choices. I narrowed it down to a castle wheel with a large orifice. That still left me with half a dozen choices from the Majacrafts to the Country Spinner. One being too expensive, and the other not very pretty.

Luckily, I had gone to a fiber festival and saw a neat little wheel that a woman was using. I had never seen it before and asked her what it was. Yes, I know a spinning wheel, but what brand is what I meant. She kindly told me that it was handmade by a gentleman in Missouri and proceeded to give me a brochure. Since he's such a small producer, he didn't even have a website. I didn't think much about the little wheel for a couple of weeks until I saw the flyer again when I was cleaning and took a closer look. It was a castle, check. It's orifice is larger for bulky yarns, check. Hmm. . .


My mother-in-law kindly emailed the gentleman to get more information. You see, she wanted it to be a Christmas/birthday gift for me. It was to my great surprise that this wheel is not only $100 cheaper than other big brands, but comes with several excellent accessories such as a lazy Kate and an orifice hook. Safe to say, I was ensnared.






As soon as I got the wheel in my house, I broke her down to stain. I immediately noticed that since it was oak, it was considerably heavier than most other wheels. In my mind, this is a bonus with the kiddos running into it. It also won't slide around easily on my wood floors.



I also found out that he adds little acorn details to the knobs. This dates backs to English as a sigh for good luck. A good part of my heritage dates to England, so this was a wonderful surprise. Unfortunately, I had to completely change how I was going to stain the wheel. I originally wanted a red and black theme, but the acorns had me hooked.

The wood took the stain wonderfully. I used three different colors to obtain a aged look. It took two days to stain, dry, seal, dry, oil/grease, and reassemble the whole thing back together.

Spinning is very easy with a heal to toe pressure. The orifice is huge and accommodates my art yarns well. It has four hooks to change between rather than eight. My only complaint would be that the bobbin doesn't hold as much as my Babe wheel. It's a small sacrifice for such a beauty.

4 comments:

checkersmon said...

It's a beauty !!! Care to share who makes them ?

squirrellymom said...

yes, would you share this gentleman's contact information please? :) beautiful wheel!

Dawning Dreams said...

You can reach his family at lahar42@hotmail.com for more information. It is worth every penny and then some!

Anonymous said...

I just received this little beauty for a Mother's Day present. My husband and I were attending a small fiber festival and met the gentleman and his family (the Harpers) who make this delightful wheel.

The craftsmanship is superb! It's a solid wheel that treadles like a dream. Since I usually spin on a Scottish tension wheel, I was a little hesitant to use this wheel's Irish tension system. However, I found that this wheel is so well crafted and balances that I can spin from bulky to lace weight with no problems!

The spinning ratio with the bobbins that come with it is 6 to 1 but bobbins with a different ratio can be ordered.

There is a wait time for these wheels since the production is quite limited. I was just fortunate that this wheel was at the festival and was available.

All wheels are signed and numbered.

And the price is absolutely UNBELIEVABLE for the amount of workmanship required to make this wheel.