8.19.2009

meet my new Lendrum spinning wheel

16.5 lbs. of Canadian maple crafted into one very fine spinning wheel by Gord Lendrum of Odessa, Ontario. I love its sleek, modern lines and the tilted angle of the wheel. More than anything I love that I'm making what is starting to resemble actual yarn.

You know the saying the 'Straw that Broke the Camel's Back'? That one thing that pushes you over the edge, makes you take the giant leap... all that cliche stuff? I blame/thank Elaine for that and her post on her new wheel about a month ago. She made me crave spinning more than chocolate. That's a lot of craving. Why yearn, why not just do it? Her post was the straw that made me leap. Both feet. No looking back, take backs or any of that other stuff. Elaine aka 'yes, I'm a YarnSnob' ~ you were so right ~ it does smell good, I gave it a sniff like you suggested. You were the shove I needed after 10 years of wishing I could spin, thanks.

Nicole and I drove to Toronto last Friday to pick up the wheel at Romni Wools in Toronto. The bedlam of a 5.5 million populated GTA vs. our "small town" of 200,000 was like stepping into another world. After an hour drive plus 25 minutes searching for a parking spot we were swarmed by a Goth group of theatre students on the sidewalk making their own movie with 2 big shoulder cameras. Shortly after we returned home Don and Ryan headed up north to Algonquin Provincial Park for 5 days of camping. Nicole and I had a long planned dinner out with our friend Mary whom we haven't seen in ages that took up the rest of Friday evening. Why the details of our Friday night? To let you all know how good I was not ditching everything else just because every 2nd thought in my head was about the box sitting in the kitchen at home with the Lendrum in it.

We were up at dawn on Saturday morning to set things outside for our garage sale. This is the 3rd garage sale I've held. They average on every 10 years. Not sure if that says something about me or not? If you can figure out what it means, let me know. 9 hours of hot, humid 95+ degree temps to sell dozens of things that tallied only $55 in sales was hard work but worth cutting down on our storage clutter. Most of what we sold was from the kids infant, toddler and preschool years. 24 hours after the Lendrum came home it was still in the box. It was killin' me.


When I finally got the wheel out of the box late Saturday I realized my digital camera was at Algonquin Park camping with the guys, bummer for the blog. It only takes seconds to set up the folding wheel courtesy the helpful videos from Paradise Fibres and Yarns. I spun an entire bobbin of BLF natural brown top my first sitting. Addicted? Oh yeah, baby! Big time. First thing Sunday morning I was up at it again. Even Nicole was impressed. Peering at the bobbin thoughtfully she said, "Hey mom, it's actually starting to look like yarn." That my dear friends is high praise. She sees no point in my knitting endeavours and spinning is something she hopes her friends don't find out about. It adds to my crazy poodle lady mystique ~ which isn't a good thing in her opinion. The answer to everyone's next question is NO: I do not want to, I will not, and I have no intention of being talked in to spinning poodle hair. Nicole wants to try spinning, I know she does, she just doesn't want me to know. I saw her treadling when she thought I was upstairs in the shower. I wonder how long it'll take before she gives it a whirl, just to appease her curiosity?

I've contacted the local Spinning Guild and hope to hear from them soon. The Spin Control book is wonderful. The pictures are really helpful when I've got the goods in front of me playing with the wheel. I can see from the photo examples when my yarn has too little, too much or an acceptable amount of twist or energy as it's explained in the book. I can already see an improvement in the consistency of my singles. I'm looking forward to plying. I love the feel of the wool as it slides and twists, slides and twists between my 2 hands and then feeds onto the bobbin.

Maggie Casey's spinning dvd Start Spinning with Eunny Jang is still en route via mail. I'm learning mostly by doing so far. Hopefully I'm not teaching myself bad habits I'll have to eliminate in the future...

I have chronic insomnia. Reading is a bad plan for me because when I get into a good book I'll keep reading until morning. Sewing is wonderful, but the noise wakes everyone up. Knitting I'm usually not alert enough in artificial light to do for long and cutting for quilting makes me want to sew. House cleaning and unloading the dishwasher also taboo because it's noisy. Spinning - now that's the perfect nocturnal time burner. It's quiet, it's peaceful and it produces (or will produce) yarn for knitting. There's some really great groups for spinning and a super Lendrum group on Ravelry. There's a long thread on oiling the wheel and addressing various places it can emit annoying squeaks and noises. Maybe I lucked out, but My Lendrum is whisper silent and it's just the very faintest, appealing whirring sound as it spins. If the tv or music is on I can't hear it at all.

I've ordered bfl and corriedale hand painted roving and combed top from indie dyers on etsy. Hopefully once I make my way through the pound and a half of brown bfl I picked up at I can start playing around with pretty dyed colours too. Don't get me wrong though, I really, really like the natural raw fibres. Can anyone recommend a particular favourite roving or dyer that I should check out? I'm not keen on 100% merino, pills too much for my liking knitting so I doubt I'll spin with it. Other than socks I'm not crazy about the squeakiness of superwash... but when I knit socks for non-knitters I always use it so they don't felt them when they ignore my hand wash/cool water instructions. I've been googling to see if/how wool becomes superwashed and to see if I can superwash a project like socks after they've been knit. I haven't found any info yet. Does anyone know about it that can help educate me? I'm guessing it's probably some evil chemical process that's environmentally unfriendly - hoping it's not too bad - superwash does have it's uses.

A few people have mentioned leg cramps and issues with their knees when they get started spinning. Maybe because I'm used to being heels down in a saddle and using my hands and legs as aids independently for riding it's easier for me, but no problems with cramps or pain. The motion is light and barely uses pressure, the action comes from the ankles. That's probably amazing in itself because I do have a lot of back issues and my neck/right shoulder from a car accident a million years ago. No problems with the spinning in that respect. The double treadle is smooth and comfortable. Like Celeste mentioned, the foot treadles are a nice width apart and I think using both feet keeps my balanced and centred in the chair with proper posture for my spine.

Why a Lendrum? Lots of reasons: Price point is reasonable by comparison. It comes with 4 bobbins, the Lazy Kate and I picked up a Fast Flyer. It's sleek looking and compact, folds to almost nothing and fits under a bed or in a closet. It's light weight enough that people buy or make backpacks to fit it for travelling. It's recommended as a suitable beginner wheel being user friendly and has enough options you can add to it to make it more versatile for advanced to experienced spinners. You can buy more options for drive ratios in the future. It's a wheel I shouldn't outgrow. There are a lot of ads for spinning wheels and how to get started articles. I found Abby's site extremely helpful. Her reviews and advice on picking wheels is fantastic and her whole site is filled with useful and interesting info. She's definitely a spinner that gives back. Her article on The Wheels: Which and Why is excellent, as are all her posts and articles. She's got some great clips on You Tube for spindling. I decided to wait on spindling, I want to produce yarn faster than spindling it and might pick one up in the future for interest and learning, but a wheel feels right for me now.

A special thanks to everyone who took time to offer help and advice in getting this spinning thing rolling. Loving spinning on my new Lendrum! Should've started this years ago, but better late than never.

11 comments:

Joansie said...

I am so excited that you purchased a Lendrum. I told you about it in your previous post. Now, I can't wait for you to start posting about it. I've not had much time to spin lately but perhaps now that I have an online "spinning buddy" with the same wheel....you'll inspire me.

Happy Spinning!

Celestial said...

Welcome to the dark side. We have wool and cookies.

So happy that you're loving it and are producing something you'll be able to use. It's a blast for someone to compliment your knitting and then to say, "oh, I spun this yarn myself."

jillian said...

Yay - good for you! It was clearly a good decision as you are already on a roll.

a friend to knit with said...

oh wow. that looks amazing!
i truly can't imagine how accomplished that feeling from "start to finish" would feel!
enjoy!

margene said...

Enjoy every minute of spinning on that beauty. Spinning is so rewarding and enjoyable. Nice review, too.

said...

oh! how lucky you are! i must learn!

peaknits said...

mmm, I just love your photos. I love my pretty Lendrum too! And she is also quiet as a mouse - I never thought of that in the middle of the night, but now I might! (since I usually get into a book and stay up all night:)

Alison Boon said...

Just a beautiful piece of usable furniture. Enjoy using it.

Nicole said...

Wow, you are extremely lucky! I can only dream of one day partaking in such a beautiful craft! Good luck and I look forward to seeing your new handspun yarn!

YarnSnob said...

ooopsy, oh oh..yes, it was me, I hold my hand up! You will not regret buying this wheel Ms Renee, a beautfully handcrafted wheel that will last for many years. Im so happy you finally brought one. May you spin some beautiful yarns!

You craved this more than chocolate!!!LOL

Now I must go and have a sniff at my wheel before I start the day :)sniff sniff sniff......

Journeying Five said...

how very VERY cool for you! sounds like it was the right thing at the right time for sure! look forward too seeing your creations.

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