20 September 2013

Introducing Little Grace Special ♥

My love affair with spinning started a year ago, in fact it was last September that I started my spinning classes. I still remember the buzz when I first treadled on a borrowed wheel and the excitement when I owned my first wheel, now a year later I am a proud owner of a gorgeous custom made Little Grace Special. (I'm a little over excited so please excuse the number of photos!)

You may already know that I have been patiently waiting for months for this little beauty to be made, and now it's finally here I can hardly contain myself!

It came well packaged in a polystyrene box:
The assembling instructions included a video which was very helpful, it took me a little over 30 minutes to put it all together - could've been quicker, it helps to watch the video first, duh!

Here it is fully assembled, complete with 7 bobbins (one on the flyer, the other six held at the front):
Here are more details:
My wheel is number 842 and it's got my name on it :-).  The orifice has two attachments, one is the reducing attachment which you can see at the bottom left, for spinning thinner yarns; another is an art yarn attachment showing here on the bottom right. The arm of the flyer head has three holes to hold the two attachments and the orifice hook when not in use. Not only that, a left handed spinner could flip the flyer head and have the flyer on the other side.

It has six ratios so the spinning range is huge.
But one thing surprised me (I wouldn't say disappointed, OK,  maybe just a teensy bit), is that the "double treadle" really is a "twin treadle" as shown here:
The two treadles are actually connected and move as one, meaning when treadling I'm not using alternate foot but both feet together. I don't remember reading anything about it when I did my research, and I assumed (always a dangerous thing to do) that two treadles means alternating actions. Still, I have spun on it and I am impressed, very smooth and effortless. So overall I am happy with my new wheel and I am sure Little Grace Special and I will have many happy years together :D

Oh yes, last but not the least, my Jenkins Swan has arrived. Isn't she beautiful!
That's more than enough to keep me busy! Now it's your turn :-)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

13 September 2013

Creeper Alert!

If you have a son who is 8~12 years old you will probably have heard of Mincreaft, if you don't, well, lucky you! Minecraft is a game where the world is square and everything is built of 3D cubes, there is no specific goal, instead it allows you to make it whatever the imagination fancies. Needless to say Master E is a covet fan who frequently lives in the cubes wonderland. He's been invited to a birthday party this weekend and the birthday boy is also a Minecraft fan, so he requested a "Creeper" for his friend.
Please excuse the terrible photo, I left it a bit late so by the time I finished it it's already dark. It's a fairly easy make as it's just a combination of cubes, actually it's one cube and five cuboids, but you get the drift. I used a 4mm hook and some stash yarn from my dyeing experiment, the stuffing is the wool fluff (clean) I saved from carding and combing. The head is not as square as I would have liked but this will do. Apparently in the game the Creeper would get close to the player and explode to cause damage, but this one is pretty safe ;-)

When not playing Minecraft Master E has shown some considerable interest in fibre art, he helped me with this breaking violet experiment:
I think we could have used a little more dye stock, the finished braid has quite a bit of white in it even though the colours seemed quite strong during application. Also, I think if I didn't add vinegar in the pre-soak it might encourage better distribution, because I did notice the dyes being taken up by the fibre as soon as they hit so the "massage" only helped a little bit. But overall I am still happy with the result.

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!

05 September 2013

New toys :D

Have you ever set yourself an alarm at 6:30am on a Saturday to go shopping? I have. Last week I learnt that Jenkins were releasing a batch of their Swan Turkish Spindles at 2pm Pacific time on Friday, which was 7am Melbourne time on Saturday (thanks Vivian for the pointer, I was quite confused otherwise). Now if you have heard of Jenkins you will know that their spindles have become quite difficult to get hold of, they now only release periodically and limit to one spindle per customer, and, if you have bought one in the last six months you are not eligible in the run.

Couple of my spinning friends have acquired some of these spindles before they became such hot cakes, and they were very impressed with the craftsmanship and how they spin. So when I heard about the release I set myself a quest to get one. I got up immediately when the alarm went (unlike most mornings!) and I stationed myself in front of the computer religiously refreshing the product page and (im)patiently waiting for the "for sale" button to appear. Then the clock struck and there was a mayhem, I clicked on the spindle I had chosen in the preview but by the time I logged into PayPal it was gone! So frantically I went back to the product page and found one that was still available, this time I was lucky. My word, I haven't seen such excitement for years!

So this is it - my Swan spindle in Queenwood
It hasn't arrived yet, the picture is plucked from the YarnTools.com website.

I got another toy this week - an Ashford Blending Board. It was supposed to be my birthday present in August, but a) they were released after my birthday; b) there was a stock shortage; so I had to wait. But I was content with that, anticipation is part of the fun :)

I've been eyeing one of these since last year when I saw some cool videos on YouTube, but those boards were all based in the US and the postage was horrendous. When I saw the blending board at the Ashford booth at this year's Bendigo show I knew I had to have one, DH was pleased that he didn't need to look far for my birthday present so it was a win-win :D
These are my practice rolags, the fibre was some white merino lap waste dyed with food colours. This is fun!

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!