Monday, August 2, 2010

Jumping in with Both Feet

I started dabbling with spinning almost two years ago with some roving and a couple drop spindles. It was fun to begin with, but not that comfortable and definitely not fast enough. One of the things I love about knitting is that you can get some results fairly quickly. Even though I started 2 years ago, I have yet to finish spinning any yarn with my drop spindles. Add in the discomfort (read: lack of muscle strength in certain areas of my arms and shoulders) and spinning on a drop spindle was not one of my first choices for a nighttime hobby. It's so much easier to just pick up my current project and knit.

I've been intrigued by spinning wheels and the production you can get from them. Seemingly every other blogger I follow is now spinning and posting photos of their beautiful hand-spun yarn. Last weekend my intrigue finally bowled over and I began researching spinning wheels and whether or not I could obtain one; plus I have $350 burning a hole in my pocket. I quickly found that most wheels are out of my price range currently. The few that I did find in my range (particularly these) planted the seed of what I am about to reveal.

I am building my own spinning wheel.

Spinning wheel base

So far I have the base built, plans drawn up and materials purchased for the wheel, flyer and bobbins, etc. The DIY Tools group on Ravelry has been a huge help in this venture. Quite a few people have made their own wheel and posted photos, suggestions and directions online. I've cobbled ideas from other manufacturer's wheels, DIY models and my own ideas. It's nothing that I'll be putting into mass production, but for an anticipated cost of around $35, it will be good enough for me to use.

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