Ever since I sold my Ashford Traditional two years ago, I’ve been missing spinning. Selling the traddy was the right decision-my knee problems were exacerbated by the position the wheel required. Since then I’ve had PT for my knee, and have studied spinning wheel design, to find the ones with the best treadle/orifice placement for me. I knew that I wanted a single treadle castle wheel, with the treadle and orifice centered. A folding/travel wheel would be the best because of its compact footprint, and the ease of packing if/when I move again (not that I’m planning on moving any time soon, it’s just that after that one year with 3 moves, I never want to be without an exit plan).
I scoured Ravelry, Craigslist and ebay, and finally I found a used Joy on Ravelry for a good price (always try to buy used first. Unfortunately it was damaged in shipping. The plywood of the handle shattered, but everything else was in fine working order. The handle is what makes it a travel wheel, and its one of it’s best features. Rather than send it back, I decided to fix it.
I started by using a hacksaw to remove the ragged plywood and then sanded it smooth. I attached a drawer pull with StrongStik adhesive and let it cure for 48 hours. Then I smoothed everything out with sugru (20g of white) so that there are no jagged edges, and let that cure for another 24 hours. The bond with the StrongStik and the sugru is great- there’s no cracking, and I can easily lift and carry the wheel.
An added bonus of the fix is it makes my wheel unique. I’ll never misplace it at a fiber festival or spinner’s gathering.
As for the actual spinning, well, that’s taken some getting used to. This little wheel has more ratios than either of my previous wheels. The Babe had one ratio, and the traddy technically had 3, but only 2 worked. Now that I have 4 working ratios, I’m not sure what to do with myself.
I spun up a bunch of fiber from my stash, just to get used to the wheel. No real plan or technique, just “spin it and see what happens.” These are all worsted-ish weight yarns, spun semi-worsted-ish, on the 8:1 ratio.
Brimstone Hollow Farm Romney/Border Leicester :
Spunky Eclectic BFL Roving in Thermograph (August 2008 club):
Liberty’s Yarn Roving It – Sheltland