I updated my shop with 4 skeins this week
Bijoux - Merino/Yak/Silk
The Tell Tale Heart - Shetland
The Lone Gunmen - Dorset
Sweater Weather - Wensleydale
Bijoux is a super luxury blend of fibres and it was N-plyed. I wanted to mix the colours slightly but not too much. The Tell Tale Heart was spun from some fibre I have had in my stash for quite some time. I love the colours and this Shetland was probably the best I've spun. The big, fluffy, bulky skein in the middle was my favourite of the week. Dorset is a down breed and a first for my shop. A very prairie fibre, often overlooked but I LOVED how it turned out despite the fibre prep, which gave me a few problems. Another X-Files related colourway name. And finally, the last skein listed was a nice lustrous long wool; Wensleydale. I kept it as a single, but spun it softly. Although a great tapestry yarn or textile yarn, I was thinking shawls, and the like because of its wonderful drape.
I have also reinstated my sheep study and you can read all about Cormo in that section.
Weight: 21 g & 16 g / 3/4 oz
Length: 8.25" Shaft
Since the past couple of years I have been on a MAJOR support spindle kick and I really want to try all the spindle makers out there. Ghstworks designs have caught my eye on some of the spindle threads so I perused their shop and found this little number. My sample is Romney and I spun and plyed it to keep its awesome colour runs. It came to 11 yards in the end.
My very favourite aspect of this spindle is it's size. I LOVE it! Its labeled as a travel spindle and that's exactly what I plan to do with it. Perfect for throwing in your bag and taking it everywhere you go. Its stocky, well built and made to last. It also feels nice in the hand. My hands are kinda... what's the word... pudgy (ha) so this spindle feels not too big, not too small but just right. If you have larger hands, this travel spindle may not be right for you.
To spin a larger amount of fibre with this spindle you would have to make a couple cops to do so as the shaft doesn't have the length for a few oz (but it's the travel size) . I have a bit of fibre chosen to make a bigger skein with this spindle to test out how much fibre I can pack on before it becomes cumbersome. (I will update this post when I do that)
The shaft isn't overly decorated but there are 3 small rings near the tip which add a nice bit of detail (see last picture). Rings like this always remind me of my Tabachek spindles :)
There is some hand yarn management ridges near the bulb. I really appreciate these because they really help a lot when it comes to getting your spinning started. They are carved very neatly and even. The shaft has been smoothed but not a whole lot. I prefer that because if the spindle shaft is too slippery, your yarn will just keep sliding around as you are spinning. It needs some hold, but not enough to snag your fibre.
Length of spin: 9.4 seconds (average of three tests)
Fibre storage ability: Fair
Overall Rating: 8.75/10
This spindle maker has taken time and care into making his spindles work very well. They don't need a mix of woods or fancy tips or unique shaping. They are very nice Russian spindles and I would like to have more from Ghstworks.
It's easy to get into the spinning groove and lose track of time, we all know that! It's also easy to forget that your wheel is working very hard with you to make sure your skeins come out exactly as planned. Some issues you might run into are a result of poor wheel maintenance. I'm not here to pass judgement as I am guilty of this myself. Spinning wheels are a big investment and you really want to keep them working their best so you can count on them for years to come. I am going to go over the steps needed for good wheel care.
Before you get started, you will want to make sure you have the following items:
- Spinning wheel oil
- Microfibre cloth
- Allen wrench/screw driver
- Cotton string
- Paper towels
- Wood polish or oil
Check your wheel for areas that have a lot of grease, dirt, dust and gunk. You will find that the areas with moving parts have the highest concentration of these substances.
Remove your flyer and bobbin and clean/dust all the spots where you normally add oil.
Don't forget the footman assembly. Use paper towel to clean these metal parts.
Use a q-tip to clean out smaller spots like the orifice and the area on the front maiden.
This is also a good time to replace a worn brake band or drive band. You can use cotton string (not mercerized) as an inexpensive alternative.
If you have any leather parts like footman connectors or orifice bearings, soften them with a leather conditioner or Vaseline.
Re-shape and re-screw any hooks that need an adjustment.
Tighten all screws to keep wobbly joints in place and replace any that are stripped. Your footman connectors may also have loose screws. Use an Allen wrench if necessary. I keep this and a little multi-tool in my spinning wheel bag so they are handy when I need them.
To keep your wood looking nice, polish it up every once in a while using wax or a wood preserver, working in the direction of the grain. You can also buff your wheel with lemon essential oil which smells really good! Keep natural and stay away from using products like Pledge on your wheel because it can make the groove in the drive wheel too slippery and your drive band will slip. Don't wax whorls or bobbins for this same reason.
Once you have everything all cleaned up, re-oil all the parts that move and cause friction and also where wood meets metal. There are a lot of oils on the market but I recommend liquid oils because they won't create instant gunk. I use mineral oil because it's inexpensive, it won't harm the wood and if you have small kids that might get into it, it's non hazardous.
All of these steps are easy to do and hardly time consuming, and they really keep your wheel running smoothly. You should try to remember to oil your wheel at least every time you sit down to spin and keep your wheel out of direct sunlight and humid/moist areas. Dust it every now and then and keep an eye on it around pets (our basset hound Jenny chewed part of the base of my wheel when I wasn't paying attention!) If you treat your wheel nicely it will bring you years of great service.
Starting today, until the end of the month I am offering a coupon code to use in my Etsy shop for 15% off the 12 oz bottles of Soak in the Celebration scent. Just type CELEBRATE15 when you check out. The scent is sweet, delicate and absolutely delicious, this perennial favourite smells like good, clean fun.
Soak is a pure, gentle and deliciously scented way to wash the delicate items
you care about most. I use this product to set the twist on all my skeins.
This rinse-free formula is perfect for washing your laciest lingerie, your softest sweaters, hand-made quilts and even baby clothes. Soak is designed with fabric-friendly ingredients that revitalize fibers so they look great and last longer. Soak is safe for both hand and machine washing, including HE. Great for blocking.
Use Soak on lingerie, swimwear, knits, quilts, workout wear, dance wear and all the stuff you love most! Even your dog!
12oz bottles: 75 washes
Weight: 11 g & 16 g / 3/8 and 1/2 oz
Length: 10.5" Shaft, 2.5" Arms
Material: Shaft: Redheart Arms: Malachite & Tigers Eye beads
I have a very special review for you today, very unique, very innovative and very customize-able spindles. My samples are both merino and I spun 15 yards and 51 yards in the 2 skeins.
Trindles are made using a shaft, a neoprene hub and perimeter weighted arms. The materials that go into making these spindles are vast. The beads alone can be comprised or glass, metal, woods, semi precious stones and even ivory just to name a few. If you are looking for a spindle you can really personalize, these are them.
My arms are beads made from Malachite and Tigers Eye. I have always had a love for rocks and quite like these ones. You can change the weight of your spindle, simply by changing up your arms. The weights of these are as follows - Malachite (4 g) and Tigers Eye (9 g). There are several arm sets you can choose from and if you have a special set of beads he can even make a custom set of arms for you! Now how COOL is that?
The arms stay in place really well yet they are easy to remove and switch around if you need to.
The neoprene hub is really quite ingenious. There are 6 holes in these spindles so I could even add 2 sets of arms for extra weight if I needed. The material is virtually indestructible and nice and lightweight. It is snug on the shaft and there is no movement at all. Both of mine are an inch down from the hook. Even the placement of this hub could be customized to make mid-whorl spindles and support spindles - which he also does (!)
I would also be careful in packing these babies for travel as they feel a bit dainty. With that said, this spindle maker is so unbelievably awesome to offer a lifetime guarantee on Trindles. If yours breaks or fails in anyway, he will repair or replace it, no questions asked. That alone is reason enough to want to support this maker!
The hooks are simple but not a detail overlooked. The end of the hook has been tapered so it doesn't have a blunt, ugly edge that may snag your spun yarn. They have a nice wide curve that lines your yarn up perfectly with the shaft.
And after all that, lets talk about how they spin shall we? Like a dream. I was slightly worried that the arms would come flying out mid spin but that hasn't happened. I was also a bit concerned that given the weights and the design of the arms that the spin time would be short and it wasn't bad at all. BECAUSE of the design, and the weight distribution on the outer tips of the yarn, these spindles are amazing spinners! They dance in the air, almost weightless and barely look like they are moving, kinda like a hummingbird.
Winding on was a bit of a challenge at first though. I had to slow down a bit and make sure I was building my cop under the arms and not in and around them. Although, it would be worth a try if you needed to pack on more yarn to see if that helped with yarn storage if you kept it balanced and under control.
When you buy these spindles you have to buy a shaft and arms separate. This let's you choose your shaft preference and you can create your own spindle set. I like how you can collect different arms and switch them out as you like. You kinda get a modular spindle and you can change things up as you spin even.
Length of spin: 14.9 seconds (average of three tests)
Fibre storage ability: If you are spinning very fine lace weight yarns, you will be able to pack a lot of yarn on these, and can change weights as you need to.
Looks: Very unique, and an ingenious design
Overall Rating: 8.5/10
Here is where I tell you a secret, I traded for these spindles. A woman on Rav was looking for a Glindle (as is everyone) and she was offering these spindles as well as a Gripping Yarn french spindle in return. I REALLY wanted the GY spindle and thought about this trade for over a week. I even consulted my local fibre community on their opinions of Trindles as I had never tried them and wondered if they would be a fair trade with the spindle package being offered. I decided to go for it and I am actually pretty happy I did. I really love these spindles and they spun so effortlessly and were so nice and light that they are a joy to spin with. I was quite impressed with the spindle maker as I mentioned above with his guarentee. He also responded to peoples' comments on his Ravelry group with genuine care and even a bit of humour. I respect that. If you have ever been curious about these spindles, give one a try, or better yet, check out the Trindle Etsy shop and pick out a nice set of arms and a shaft and take the plunge, there is a reason they are popular!