Wednesday, August 10, 2011
This is my new spinning wheel. It was obtained for an absolute steal (less than I would have spent on say, the Very Fast Flyer for my Lendrum Folding wheel). And while the Lendrum VFF is a bit faster than this baby... this wheel is gorgeous.
As far as I have been able to determine, it runs a little bit faster than the Fast Flyer on the Lendrum (that goes up to 17:1, whereas this wheel has two ratios at 18:1 and 20:1). But more than that, it runs in what is called "double drive". See the drive band? (I know it looks a little funky... we replaced it with a marled cotton yarn where one of the three strands is red. I've decided I like it's character.) It goes around the wheel twice and then loops over both the end of the bobbin, and the flyer whorl. This means that both parts are spinning and with the way the whorls are set up, the bobbin spins just a mite bit faster than the flyer. It gives a very light and constant take-up pressure and the speed allows for very fine yarn to be spun easily.
Meet Karolina Thyberg Erickson, born in 1962 in Sweden, and immigrated (with the wheel) to America in 1887-1888. Isn't she lovely? And the wheel, too. I feel very honored to have obtained a piece of history, complete with its own story.
In fact, every time I sit down to spin on it, I enjoy that sense of history a little bit.
I ran into one more little stroke of luck when picking this wheel up. On my way home I stopped by a local wood shop. It's pretty modern stuff but the people there are very knowledgeable about wood in general and I hoped to get a couple of tips on how to maintain the wheel over time. It was extremely good fortune, then, that there was a person out front selling antique tools. And wouldn't you know... he repairs antique wheels, too. So the few minor issues this wheel has (a broken pin, and an older repair that isn't done well) are going to be cleared up with a little help in a few weeks.
I feel so very, very lucky.
There are lots more pictures here of the lovely details of this wheel.