Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In A Box

First! I have 2 of the limited edition of 30 Schacht Walnut Anniversary Baby Wolf Packages coming to me. They should ship at the end of this month or early in October. If this is on your wish list, I would love to hear from you. As they haven't shipped yet you can have this fab loom shipped directly to your home for no additional charge! Go look at the full details on my web page or in the Webstore.

So, today I will begin a series of blog posts concerning my spinning wheel collection. What do I like about each and why do I keep them. I'm at a point now in my collection that I don't want to have any wheel unless it fills a hole or is something special to me. I thought that perhaps others might be interested in my collection too.

Today's post is called "In a Box" because I decided to begin with my Bosworths.

But, the first thing in a box is Ryan. Last week I came upstairs and looked in his room to see this:
It's an underbed box that usually holds the kid's costumes. He did at least put a pillow down before he went to sleep.
And so first we have the Bosworth Journey Wheel - in a box. This wheel is pretty new. I got it in October of 2008. I actually didn't own a folding wheel and really wanted one. Before I bought it I tried the two that were available to me to decide between single and double treadle. The single treadle version was easier for me to start with just my foot and so that's what sold it. I ordered it Double Drive with the Scotch Tension Kit. I have honestly not tried it in single drive since I've had it.

This wheel is a great performer. I took the following information right from the Journey Wheel website.

Over 30 years ago with inspiration from the Indian charkha, Jonathan Bosworth designed the Journey Wheel as a single-treadle flyer spinning wheel. The Journey Wheels are still made of beautiful of cherry — its color and intensity will deepen the longer you own your Journey Wheel.

As a design engineer and master craftsman, Jonathan has developed the Journey Wheel into a true workhorse spinning wheel which works well with a variety of fibers including wools, cotton, silk, alpaca and more. Just as important, the Journey Wheel is designed for easy travel — take your Journey Wheel with you, wherever you may go!

With principal ratios of 8:1 and 16:1 and intermediary ratios of 10:1 and 14:1, the Journey Wheel is available as a single- or double-treadle wheel. It spins beautifully as a double-drive wheel or with the Scotch tension option, whether you are spinning fine laceweight or thicker yarns.

No settings are lost or parts removed when you fold your Journey Wheel into its self-contained case; nothing is left behind by mistake. The Journey Wheel's unique open U-orifice means you'll never need an orifice hook again.

The Journey Wheel is ...

Portable! It is hinged and folds into itself to form a 14"x16"x7 box. It weighs between 14-15 pounds (density of the wood varies), and is easily carried with a leather shoulder strap.

The Flyer is our own design, featuring a unique well-balanced U-shaped orifice, which means no more orifice hooks. The whole front of the flyer opens like a gate, which makes changing bobbins a snap.

The Treadle is designed to be pedalled heel-and-toe, allowing a relaxed posture for spinning.

Belts are tensioned by a single precise adjustment for double-drive spinning, or by two simple adjustments for Scotch Tension spinning. Belts do not need to be removed to fold your Journey Wheel, or to unwind spun yarn.

Two Spare Bobbins rest easily in the built-in Lazy Kate.



  • 14" x 16" x 7" folded
  • 32" high (opened and upright)
  • Orifice 29" from floor


  • 14-15 pounds


  • Treadle to Flyer: 8.1 and 16:1
  • Direct drive double-belted system; Scotch tension optional
  • Bobbin to Flyer: 1.8:1
  • Bobbin size: 3" diameter, 2 7/8" length


    • Nylon, teflon & permanently sealed ball bearings require no lubrication. You may oil the treadle pivots, the footman & strap leathers, & the plastic bearing at the front of the flyer.

With ratios of up to 16:1 this is by no means a production spinning wheel, though i have spun plenty of yarn on it. I think many spinners are expecting their folding wheel to do too much for them if they want ratios higher than 20:1. I feel like a folding wheel is for traveling and taking to classes. You learn something new and translate that to your main wheel when you get home. If people are interested in having only one wheel I try to steer them away from the current folding/travel wheel choices.

Another thing about this wheel that I was told before getting it is the bobbins are small. Well! I am so impressed with the amount of yarn I can get onto these bobbins. I've had up to 4 ounces of a medium weight yarn on these babies (the yarn was about DK weight when it was plied).

I like this wheel a lot. It is beautiful and a great piece of engineering. Now I have to get over my fear of carrying it on an airplane!

Next up is my Bosworth Book Charkha. I wanted one of these for a long time but felt I couldn't justify the purchase (Ok, that's funny, I know) Well, when I was registered for a 3 day cotton class with Stephanie Gausted what could I do? I chose the Book size rather than the Attache for one reason only. and I'm just going to say it. I was a little intimidated by the Attache ratios.

The book charkha is small, weighs 1.5 pounds and spins at a ratio of 70:1. The Attache is larger, weighs 5.25 pounds and has a ratio of 110:1.

These things are smooth and spin beautifully. My goal in November is to spin 20 minutes per day on my charkha using the skills I learn at SOAR this year.

The book charkha is a real specialty item but for the lace I love to knit, it is the perfect tool.

I still have 14 wheels (I think) to talk about. At this point I couldn't choose just one favorite. i could probably choose 5 favorites. Seriously.

Next up, my Louet Collection.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just a Couple of Things

I've been cleaning my fiber room. There are bins full of stuff to Keep, stuff to Sell, and stuff to Give Away. I'm thinking of having a porch sale in the next couple of weeks at the shop to clear out some older fiber and yarn. It's good and there are even a couple of sweater quantities but if I'm really honest, I'm not going to use it - ever.
In the midst of it all came a true queen:-) Amy King. She is the Queen of the Spunky Eclectic empire and her new book, Spin Control, is spectacular and available at the Spinning Loft.

She's cute as a button and NAUGHTY!

Friday's class was all about spinning low twist singles yarns. We made several samples from start to finish.

Saturday's class was all about core spinning. We did many samples and techniques including core spun locks and boucles. Fabulous.

I love this skein a lot and may have to make some more. It is dyed mohair locks spun on a mill spun cotton core.
There was some hair dyeing. Yup that's my head. Pink for a while.
Did I mention she is NAUGHTY?
Most students were easily pulled into the shenanigans but not Lynmarie. She took great notes and made wonderful samples.
A shot of the mostly naughty class. They did work hard though.
Here are my 3 sample skeins. The 3 on the left are the Friday night skeins and then the core spun Mohair and the boucle. I have big plans for making more of all of them.

The class was very fun and it was lovely to spend some time with Amy sleeping together in the naughty girl's room. I heard a rumour that she is planning on coming back in January for a team teaching visit with another fab teacher. We shall see if they can make their plans soon.

That's really all the news. Much paperwork still happening as we complete our accounting software switch.
The finalists in the "I made it on my Schacht" contest were announced today and I would liek to congratulate Evil Michelle and Stacy on making it to the next level. I am taking all the credit for their success. I was their teacher, right?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

What I Did on my Summer Vacation

We're just back from 9 lovely relaxing days. There was plenty of knitting, some spinning, lots of sitting around and a teeny tiny bit of work. I could get away with that because Chelsea was steering the Spinning Loft ship.

This post will cover the family activities we did and in a day or two we'll talk about what I did and the yarn shops I visited.

Miniature golf at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City was terrifying. I have an irrational fear of snakes. I know it. I can't even touch a rubber one. So we were playing and got to the 4th hole and Ryan said "SNAKES!" and there they were. Two of them crawling around under a bush. Lou chased them away and made me play through. Now, I would prefer not to pass my crazy on to the kids and so i played through. There we were at the 5th hole and what goes by? Two more snakes! I squealed a little and got on top of a rock. Lou chased them away again and being the trooper I am I played all 18 holes...on the lookout of course.

I did tell the person at the desk though.
Great Wolf Lodge is not my favorite place to play but the kids love it...even the one that is taller than me. In the photo above you can see where Maggie and I spent most of out time in the water park - the Lazy River. Grab a tube and float around. Maggie isn't a big fan of the water slides and so she was either floating with me or practicing her newly gained swimming skilz in the plain old pool.

Ryan and Lousmith, on the other hand, got into all of the available activities. The photo just above is of the 1000 gallon bucket spilling down, which it did every 5 minutes. The boys are both in that photo.
We were at the Great Wolf Lodge for 3 nights and then went to Petoskey. On the way we stopped to see the Budweiser Horses where they were visiting at some casino. These guys are amazingly big! This boy is getting groomed and he loved it.
Our time in Petoskey was a big jumble of sitting around and little else except for our visit to Mackinac Island (pronounced Mackinaw). The highlight of the day for me was the Lunch at the Grand Hotel. The Grand has the largest covered porch in the world. I believe I remember it to be 600 feet long.
The buffet at the Grand was almost as long and so very delicious. It's a beautiful place and I'd love to spend a couple of nights there in the future. After 6PM Men are required to wear a Jacket and Tie and women wear skirts or dresses. Fancy.
Mackinac has no cars. All transportation is by horse or bike or foot. Amazing how much quieter things are without cars. I did almost get hit by a bike but...what can I say. It was my fault.
We took a carriage tour of the Island which includes a park that used to be a national park but is now a state park. During the war of 1812 the Fort on Mackinaw Island was taken over by the British for a time until it was negotiated back to America a few years later.
The Mackinaw Bridge connects Lower Michigan with the Upper Peninsula. Here are some facts about the bridge taken from the Mackinac Bridge Authority website.

The Mackinac Bridge is currently the third longest suspension bridge in the world. In 1998, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan became the longest with a total suspension of 12,826 feet. The Great Belt Bridge in Halsskov-Sprogoe, Denmark, which also opened in 1998, is the second longest suspension bridge in the world with a total suspension of 8,921 feet. The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere. The total length of the Mackinac Bridge is 26,372 feet. The length of the suspension bridge (including anchorages) is 8,614 feet. The length from cable bent pier to cable bent pier is 7,400 feet. Length of main span (between towers) is 3,800 feet.

It really is a beautiful thing. On Labor day each year the Governor of Michigan walks the bridge along with 40,000 of his/her closest friends. The last few years the Governor of Michigan has run the length but this year she will walk as she will have some elderly relatives with her.

This is the hotel we were at in Petoskey. it is the Inn at Bay Harbor. Lousmith has stayed here a few times the last few winters but it's usually in February and he gets there after dark and leaves before the sun comes up so it's the first time he's seen the grounds.
There were beautiful sunsets.....
S'mores on the beach of Lake Michigan....
Playing in the lake water....
giant checkers throw downs.....
and throwing stones.
The kids spent a lot of time in the heated hotel pool too.
By the last day they had to wear shirts and hats in the pool. We ghostly white skinned people get burnt very easily and I was so upset about Maggie by then. The girl really needs sunscreen every 5 minutes for it to work. One of the days I spent some time at the spa having a massage, exfoliation and facial. I'm very shiny and smooth now.

This week was just what I needed. I feel so much better. Still lots to do but I feel like I may be able to handle it now with the help of the Chelster.