Honestly, I shouldn’t be sitting here at the computer drinking coffee and blogging — I should be doing chores. But of course, I’m fortifying myself for chores by drinking more coffee, so I’ll forgive myself.
Yesterday was, I must say, a very pleasant Saturday. I drove up to the Miami County Fairgrounds, about an hour north of here, and visited the Upper Valley Fiber Fest. Among other things, this provided me with an opportunity to finally meet some folks I’ve known from mailing lists, some of ’em for rather a long time, like Cena, who, if you’re on practically any of the spinning related lists these days, you probably know too.
I also very much enjoyed meeting Mirie, who talked me into ice cream (that must have been hard!), and Pia, who in fact is in Cincinnati with all her Suri alpacas, and not, as I had assumed, “somewhere around Cincinnati.” And she, of course, has friends and colleagues who live as close to me as, say, about a mile away. This is terrible, terrible news for me, of course. Simply dreadful. Because, as noted, I’m not buying any fleeces at all this year, and stuff.
Once I get to washing that Romney — which will be soon; it’s a fresh fleece shorn maybe two weeks ago — I promise pictures. But it’s very crimpy, very fine, and lustrous, and black. It came from Family Matters Farm in Xenia, and they had quite a few nice Romney and Lincoln and Romney/Lincoln cross fleeces. Honestly, I’m really kind of a sucker for nice Romney, which I find if you get in the raw from someplace nice, is much much finer than buying commercial Romney, and you get very soft, yet strong, and lustrous yarn from it.
As it happens, my thoughts of buying anything else ended up being interrupted by this:
…which I guess you can probably tell came home with me. Despite being Little Miss Majacraft Fan, this was actually the first time I’d run into a Saxonie, so I seized the opportunity to give it a try, and it really was quite nice. And then the nice lady told me she was selling this used one. Here it is next to the workhorse Suzie Pro for scale…
In my defense, I did get a good deal on it. Plus you don’t seem to be able to get these anymore. And it works with some of my other wheels. Besides, what if nobody took me seriously as a spinner because of having fewer than 10 wheels, y’know? That doesn’t seem like a risk worth taking.
I’ll give it a real review at some point. I need a new stretchy drive band for it, and I’d like to fit it with one of Majacraft’s newer high-speed whorls, as the highest ratio on the whorl that came with this wheel is, by my calculations, roughly 22:1, and it certainly seems to me that with an 18″ drive wheel it could push a bit higher, and I really can’t see any obvious reason I wouldn’t be able to put a higher speed whorl on it. The idler whorl on the Suzie Pro’s accelerator head is smaller, for instance… But anyway, the wheel’s got nice momentum and very smooth action, and the length of the footman stroke, which is at an angle, makes for pretty smooth one-footed treadling as well.
One interesting thing about this wheel is the handful of things that are clearly done for looks. At first glance to the untrained eye, it looks like a double drive wheel with a tilting mother-of-all… but it’s a scotch tension wheel, and the traditional Saxony stylings are purely ornamental.
I knew I was going to be spinning some of this up right away… but which? It was really a hard decision. Start with the BFL/Silk/Kid Mohair blend, “Sage?”
Or start with this beautiful handpainted merino/silk top in “Rocky Mountain High?”
Congratulate me on remembering to stop for 30 seconds and take a picture before I dove in. These fibers are absolutely stunning, and yeah, she outdid me and the silly little package I sent her. I mean, just look…
Aww yeah. Go look at the full-size version of that last pic.
And with all of that to play with, what’s on my to-do list today? What else — laundry. Well, and chores in general. Isn’t that always the way?