A New Spin On My Favorite Yarn (by Sandy Ryan)

November 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Yarnz

This week found me with a spinning wheel malfunction. I am by no means good at changing my ways so the prospect of adapting to a new wheel was not my idea of fun.

My favorite is our ‘flagship’ lash yarn. I tailspin a lot of it and have used the same spinning wheel forever.  It is a Bulky Babe electric spinner. I cannot recommend the wheel highly enough and I adore Nels (owner/inventor of Babe’s Fiber Garden).

The BB gives my crooked back a break from treadling, allows charms, beads, locks and more to be spun into the yarn with out having to hand wind the yarn onto the bobbin. The wheel is also wonderful for plying, especially if you are working through a large order. Personally, plying day is a long one for me since I really like designing the single ply more.

I replaced my trusty BB a few weeks ago after it decided so many years had earned it a permanent vacation. The new wheel is basically the same, with a few changes to improve the ability to spin majorly bulky yarn.

This is completely a ‘me’ issue, I miss my familiar wheel. The need to immediately spin a custom lash yarn order forced me to try something new. You heard correctly. I, Sandyrella, got the push to try spinning the lash yarn on my Rio Grande wheel.

The Rio wheel came to me via a good friend in Taos, New Mexico. She already had one so I was lucky enough to buy this barely used wheel. It is huge, beautiful-and fast. I rarely allow myself time to do any serious spinning with the Rio, so good in another way too.

It was really good. Once I remembered to relax, treadle slooowly and sit up straight- we were off. It is actually easy to tailspin with this wheel too. No threading the yarn through hooks or loops since it is very much like a Great Wheel, with a spindle that allows you to spin off the point and a treadle.

My stable includes antique wheels, a Kromski Symphony, the BB and the Rio. It would be impossible for me to name a favorite but if you have a chance to try the BB or Rio- give it a whorl.

The BB will always be my bulky yarn spinning pal but the Rio is going to see more time with me now. Stretching boundaries and spinning outside the box- it does a spinner good!

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