Thursday, January 17, 2008

Kromski 1 : Jen 0

So I took the plunge like I said I would. I bought a spinning wheel. Meet Kromski.
And not just any Kromski. I bought their newest design. The travelling, fold up and put away from small hands Sonata. I quite love the fact that all of their wheels from Poland have musical names: Symphony, Polonaise, Mintrel, Prelude and Mazurka. Given my own background in music, I feel that there is a nice meshing of art and craft in that.

I purchased mine online from Cheryl at Gemini Fibres of Mount Forest. She was such a treat to deal with. I was very surprised to learn that the postman had been by the house on Monday morning to deliver it. Nice not to have to go to the package depot and lug the box home as it came up to my hip.
It arrived snug in its own carrier bag.

And was fairly easy to wrestle out.

And with a minimum of swearing while trying to read the instructions, it was easy to set up.
What you have to understand here is that I have never been acquainted with a modern wheel before. I own a Great Wheel, but I’ve never strung it up and tried to spin with it (and I’d been told that learning on it would be tough.)

But within minutes, I had it set up, oiled and what playing with the peddles. I wasn’t about to try to string any fibre to it. I started way too late at night for that nonsense.

I left that until last night. But Monday was all about making friends and listening to the nice zizz zizz zizz noise that it makes when you get the wheel going.

That said, last night after jamming for a few hours at the Ballygibblins Pub, Bruce came over to see Kromski. And he encouraged me to tie a leader (a long scrap of yarn) to the bobbing and give it a whirl. I had wrestled with my antique carders the night before (resulting in a lot of llama hair on my navy blue turtleneck) and had a few rolags (or roving rolls) ready to give a spin.

So I tied on the leader. And I made a loop in the end of it—just like Tulasi Zimmer showed me on The Joy of Handspinning website. I also referred to Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning.

Then I gave the peddles a go and whoosh, the leader shot out of my hand and back onto the bobbin. I adjusted the Scotch Tension brake, rethreaded and tried again. It seemed to work a bit better. So I grabbed a bit of fibre and put it through the loop and tried it again.

It spun around and around and around. It did not wind on to the bobbin. I adjusted the tension.

And the leader, which had become a curly cue or green yarn, snapped. The llama roving was a snarled mess. It was twisted though.

So I threaded a new leader and tried again…with the same results. So I tried again…with the same results. And then I thought, it’s way to late to be playing this game. And I packed Kromski back up and put him and myself to bed. Rematch tonight.

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