Monday, April 06, 2009

spinning, spinning

I rigged up the double drive option on the Ladybug to try it out.
I decided I liked spinning on this wheel using the Scotch tension instead. I'm not sure why, really. It just seemed a little "slippy" with the plastic wheel so I put the stretchy single drive band back on. This wheel just seems to work better that way and I felt I had more control of my spinning.

I've got to say that I am in love with this wheel. It's sturdy and the rim-weighted wheel makes treadling effortless. I also really like the wide treadles; I can find a place for my feet while leaving my legs and knees in a comfortable, not cramped, position. Although I'm not a huge fan of hooks on the flyer, this flyer has the hooks offset on either side of the bobbin and allows you to fill the bobbin quite evenly.

I did some measuring of treadles last night to compare the Ladybug's with the Rose's. They are very similar; the only differences are that the Ladybug's are a bit higher off of the floor at the front and, at its lowest point, one is parallel to the floor. At the lowest treadle point on the Rose, my toes are about an inch higher than my heel so my foot is still slightly flexed. That gives the comfort edge to Rose by a hair. However, the Ladybug's drive wheel has more momentum once it gets going than the Rose's so there is likely a slightly edge in treadling to the Ladybug there. All said, both are very comfortable.

I also wound off of one bobbin on the attached kate to one on the wheel just to see how the kate worked. It was fine for this bit of winding but I think a full-size kate with adjustable tension would be much better for plying.

I finished up the merino/silk from Zebisis Designs. Here are the singles on the Nancy's Knit Knacks lazy kate.* (And Harrison thoroughly enjoying being able to sit in his favorite chair in the sunroom.)

While being plied...

And after a nice hot bath.
I didn't measure wraps per inch as it's somewhat thick and thin. It's between a heavy fingering and light sport weight. I'm not sure what I will use it for. It would be lovely for socks but I have about twice as much as I'd need for socks. We'll see.

*Plying causes me pain because I twist my body. The Nancy's Knit Knacks Katie a-Go Go is very handy and portable (and super for plying from spindle cops) but I have trouble keeping the singles from twisting together after they are fed through the single guide so I end up contorting my upper body even more to stretch my arms out to keep the twist controlled. I just got a Majacraft Lazy Kate from Cal at Shuttleworks. It is very sturdy and guides the singles through their own guides. Cal got the brass rods custom made for me so that the longer Schacht and WooLee Winder bobbins would also fit on it. I'm sure glad that I didn't just order the kate from another online seller as only the shorter Majacraft bobbins fit it properly. When I called Cal, he told me of the problem, tried out other bobbins on it to make sure, phoned Majacraft for advice, and contacted a supplier of brass rods in Calgary to cut some longer ones so the kate would work for me. How's that for customer service! Here's how it looks now - the rods are plenty long enough for all of the bobbins. I wish I had some plying to do so I could try it out properly. I'll be able to report back with a better review after giving it a workout.


Darcie said...

For all the business that you have given Cal he was probably more than happy to keep you happy! : )

Monica aka Gloria Patre said...

I am fascinated reading about your wheel experiments. I have a terrible curiosity with wheels other than my own. You are scratching my itch! :o) I have often admired the Lady Bug and I'm glad I know more about it now. The whole idea of "double drive" is a mystery to me!