Monday, March 14, 2011

Introducing.... FIONA !!!

Fiona arrived last Monday, right on schedule. I quickly took all her pieces out of the box and arranged them at my breakfast table where I had lots of light... ready to assemble. Well... first I had to rub a couple coats of tung oil finish on her... and THEN Friday night my dear hubby and I assembled her. It was a fairly easy process... but an extra 2 hands were very helpful... and within the hour I was spinning!!!

She's a beautiful wheel and is just perfect for me! I love the contemporary style and the double treadle castle wheel construction. It was so easy to spin on her! As of last night 2 nights after her assembly. I've spun an entire bobbin of the beautiful wool that Beth Dinoff of Whorling Tides created especially for the Carolina FIber Frolic by coordinator, Jan Smiley. It seemed appropriate to spin this fiber first... as that is where I ordered the wheel.

Saturday our Fiber Guild of the Savannahs was demonstrating at the Oatland Island Sheep to Shawl and I plied a blue silk and wool handspun singles with a commercial 5/2 variegated cotton thread using Ellen's "bobble"? technique. I love it... soft and yummy color. I need to think of just the right project for it!

I do love this wheel, however I have to make a few adjustments:
* First, the spring on the Scotch tension has to be adjusted so that it is stretched to its full length and ticks the flier assembly when it spins. I need the tension to be this tight so that the handspun will draw onto the bobbin. I may try small coated elastic hair bands to see if this might be a solution.
* Second, I noticed that after spinning quite a bit... it already needs to be oiled. This may be because it is new... or it may just be a quirk of the wheel. It DID come with a thin needled oil "can" -- so I should have expected a need for oil --- and it was in the instructions.
* The third concern is my fault! I tung oiled the MDF wheel and it came out far too dark. I can't see the contrast between the wheel and the walnut swosh as much as I'd like. I may have to paint the wheel a contrasting color... which was something I'd thought of earlier. I just don't want to paint the light wood on the treadles, flier assembly, bobbins and upright. DARN! I'm not rushing into anything... but percolating on it.

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