Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Found 20 pounds

All summer, I have been hiding out at home and haven't gone to any of the knitting groups around the city. In was part sloth, but there was that wee gas price issue too. The one I usually went to was on the northwest side of the city and I live a fair ways out of the city on the eastern side. It was biting into the yarn budget and that was unacceptable.

Yes I turfed knitters for yarn, but I am sure you understand when I tell you that weekly attendance was costing an extra tank of gas a month.

There are a couple of us from the east side who are going to try to meet on Tuesday afternoon at a place called Cafe Haven at 1 p.m., so if any of you should be in our fair city some Tuesday, you can join us to knit and talk, and talk about how you are enjoying your Mrs. Beeton's and not a soul is going to look at you crooked. (Thanks Mo. It is just so darn true)

We met for the first time yesterday, and it was really nice to see everyone. We had a few of our old west side knitting friends show up to check out the new digs. It was really great to have such a nice large group knitting together.

For those who can't make it to an afternoon group, we are going to try to set one up Wednesday evenings as well. Location is not set, but we are working on that.

After a lovely afternoon, I came home to find 20 pounds sitting there just waiting for me. No sadly it was not missing from my hips and it was, yes, hard to believe, an additional 20 pounds I was looking for.

This is my Babe Spinning Wheel. Its not a really pretty thing, but it works. One of the things that Nels, the maker said to me when we were discussing my purchase was that a lot of people like to add some weight to the base.

I found that I could only learn so much before the light weight of the wheel started to affect it performance. The obvious thing was to add weight, hence the 20 pounds. What will fit inside the tube without impeding the lazy kates along the side of the wheel, and can be taken out of the base should I ever need to take the wheel out and about. Since all things technical is Mr. Needles department, I asked him to think about it.

He thought ball bearings, or something small like that would work just right. Ball bearings, being a precision made item proved a little pricey. Lead shot provided the answer. Lead is no longer legal for game hunting in Canada but can still be found at gun ranges. We picked up a supply, filled up the open base, and reassembled the spinning wheel.

It's made a huge difference. It is like working with a brand new wheel and I can see the improvement in my work already. I can feel the wheel and can treadle much slower without having the wheel fall into my lap. I was able to control the starts and stops much more effectively, and when I had to add fibre, the changeover was much more smooth. I wasn't fighting the wheel, I was working with it.

I just might get the hang of this spinning thing yet.

1 comment:

Mo said...

Glad to hear the lead shot did the trick. Hmmm - I just may have to look at this type of wheel a bit more closely!
It was so nice to knit and chat with everyone yesterday. We'll make sure to meet up with your group a few times a year!