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View Full Version : Downgrade from a spinning wheel?


suziehomemaker
11-29-2006, 10:20 AM
I'm in a strange situation. I have an Ashford Traditional spinning wheel that my MIL has let me borrow for the past 2 years. I love spinning on it and can easily sit there for hours. My problem is that I now have a baby at home and I don't have hours to spend spinning. If I get an hour to knit at night after he's gone to bed I'm grateful.

It's too much for me right now to get my wheel out and set up to only spin for a little bit. I can't leave it set up because I have two cats and they love to explore and play with the yarn/roving. I was thinking about downgrading to a drop spindle or chakra (sp?) or a traveling wheel that's more portable. Am I just crazy?

I was thinking about having a spinning bag that I could take with me anywhere (think Ghandi) and it would be quick and easy to take out and put back away. Does anyone have any recommendations or comments? Or should I just suck it up and learn how to set up/take care of my wheel faster?

Julie
11-29-2006, 11:27 AM
Long time no see! :waving: How's the baby?? :D

Personally I'd put the wheel in storage and spindle spin for a while -- but then again I love spindle spinning...it's not for everyone though! But it sure is easy to stash away from curious fingers (or paws), and you can take it anywhere.

There are some very cool and versatile folding/travel wheels out there....unfortunately the ones that fold smallest and have nifty bags to store them (Joy, Lendrum) in are pretty pricey...not sure if that would be considered a downgrade or not! I think the cheapest folding wheels are the Fricke ST and the Ashford Kiwi, both at around $285...the Kiwi is cuter but the Fricke has more ratios. (The folding Kiwi is a special item only available at The Merlin Tree (http://www.themerlintree.com/the_merlin_tree006.htm).)

suziehomemaker
11-29-2006, 11:46 AM
Julie - Thanks so much! Our little guy is not so little, he's huge actually at 22 lbs for only being about 7 months old now but he's so active.

The folding/traveling wheels are definitely more than I wanted my DH to spend on me for Christmas. How difficult do you think it will be for me to learn how to use a spindle? (That seems like a silly question) I always hear of people moving from a spindle to a wheel but never the other way. I have to be honest and admit that I just don't have the focus right now for a steep learning curve. Knitting and spinning needs to remain a form of relaxation for me right now. Maybe in a year or two I'll be ready to take on challenging projects again! :cheering:

Julie
11-29-2006, 02:07 PM
Well, you already have the drafting down, which is half the battle. I think a lot of spinners who loathe the spindle initially do better when they go back after wheel spinning for a while. Try it for 2 weeks, 15 minutes a day, and see if it is enjoyable or if it just ticks you off. ;)

It's low-risk $$$ wise, anyway -- get a good beginner spindle (schacht hi-lo, greensleeves bare bones, or cascade little si) and you're only out $20 if you end up not liking it.

suziehomemaker
11-29-2006, 02:21 PM
I just watched a few videos on icanspin.com and I think I'm going to hold off on the spindle. I now know why they invented the spinning wheel! It looks like a pain to do compared to how I spin now. I think I'll have my DH clean out a closet for me and keep my spinning supplies in a more accessible place.

Maybe I'll ask my DH to get me some spinning lessons for Christmas instead of a spindle and more fiber. Then I can get better at setting up quickly. It's hard because I kind of fell in love with the idea of spinning anywhere. Decisions! Decisions!

Vendie
11-29-2006, 03:23 PM
I find that even just having a normal Kiwi is still more portable than some of the other wheels. It's really easy to just pick up and put somewhere and take back out whenever you need it. It's compact enough to store away in a closet. It's a great little wheel too, I really love mine. I hear the Ashford traveler doesn't actually travel all that well, which is a shame b/c it's so expensive.

suziehomemaker
11-30-2006, 10:47 AM
This topic led to a conversation that my husband and I had last night. Ever since we moved and had our beautiful son we haven't had a chance to enjoy in our basic hobbies that we once loved. For me it is knitting and spinning but for him it's woodworking and playing video games.

We made a decision to declare 1 or 2 nights a week "project" nights or maybe called "fun/no tv/no tivo" nights. After we put our son to bed we get to spend the rest of the night doing something that we enjoy. So tonight I'm going to spin while my DH plays video games. It may not sound like alot but it's a big step for us and we have great conversations and wonderful moments of non-talking quality time together.

We're going to try it tonight and see how it goes. I'm looking forward to 2-3 hours of spinning. Knowing our luck our son will probably want to stay up until 10 playing!

ebrperk
11-30-2006, 07:52 PM
I think that is a great idea to spend time like that with your husband. I really enjoy nights when my husband and I just sit and do what we enjoy. He usually watches TV or plays HALO on the computer and I knit. I would love to learn to spend one of these days but I have three children that tend to take up time so maybe when they are older.

suziehomemaker
12-01-2006, 09:55 AM
Last night was so nice! I actually got to spin for about 2 hours straight. It took awhile to get set up since it's been over a year since I used the wheel but my DH helped me get it oiled up. I think I'll have to oil it every time I use it for awhile just to get it back into shape but after a few minutes I was able to find my rhythm and my yarn looked really nice.

I still have a ton of romney wool left to spin and then another pound box of alpaca. When I ordered them I had no idea how long it would take to spin a full pound! I asked my DH to get me a fiber sampler from one of the local shops for Christmas so that way I can try out some different stuff.

It feels great to be spinning again even if it's only for a night or two each week!
:cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

Hildegard_von_Knittin
12-01-2006, 03:29 PM
I don't have anything to add, just wanted to say :waving: hi, and we miss you!

spinnknit
12-03-2006, 01:25 PM
um .......... What's tv? Is it any good? :??

Hildegard_von_Knittin
12-03-2006, 08:19 PM
television? :??

Yarnlady
12-04-2006, 08:07 AM
I can't leave it set up because I have two cats and they love to explore and play with the yarn/roving. Why not make a cover for the wheel? Or, take a bed sheet and lay it on the floor. Place wheel on bed sheet. Now gater up the sheet and tie up on top of the wheel. It wouldn't be much of a hassle to untie the top knot and use the wheel and then you and the kitties can live in peace! :teehee: If the cats bother you while you spin, they can explore a closed room for that period of time.

suziehomemaker
12-04-2006, 10:22 AM
Hi Hilde! I made stuff for the November challenge but I just didn't get a chance to take a picture yet.

Yarnlady - I like your idea. The only problem is that my cats would see that sheet as an inviation to try to jump on and eventually sleep on it. I ended up keeping the wheel in my office closet upstairs BUT DH helped me clean it out a bit so that it's easier to get it in an out again.

I'm going to try to steal Yarn Harlot's mantra and spin at least every Tuesday night - even if it's only for a little bit.