Meet Kizzy, an Ashford Traveller wheel I found on eBay, bought for me for my birthday, by my beloved. How cute is she?!
Unlike Hermione, my Ashford Trad, this wheel has had some serious use. The first few experiental metres of spinning revealed (if you'll excuse the phrase) a very gunky orifice. Stop giggling. That's where the newly twisted fluff goes into the flyer and is taken on to the bobbin.
She also had a nylon driveband which was very slippy, so I ordered a turbo band after seeing what a difference it made with Hermione. But the first job was cleaning up the flyer.
All that muck came out of the orifice. She'd clearly been used to spin wool in the grease (unscoured, so still containing the natural wool fat, lanolin) so I went straight for the hard stuff and got out the meths. Half a bag of cotton buds later and she was set to go! With a screwdriver in hand I re-alined the mother-of-all and got the drive band fitted to the largest ratio. All the main moving parts were given a good clean and a coat of oil.
This is my first time spinning with a double treadle and it's so much fun! The hands-free start alone is worth writing home about* and soon I was zipping away on more grey singles for the snowflake blanket. The disadvantage of the turbo band on this model showed up pretty soon after I'd shifted up a ratio. It's a rubbery thing with a fair bit of stretch and bounce, and when I tipped the mother-of-all back for the higher ratio, the angle of the board started playing around with the driveband and started bouncing up and down, rattling like anything and making the whole wheel and my feet vibrate, as well as making a god-awful noise.
The temporary fix has been to tie a piece of ribbon around the whole thing when on the lower ratio, so that it tightens up when the board tips and keeps it from jigging around. It's hardly doing it at all now, so was not a bad step!
So there's a lot more spinning heading this was in the year to come, especially when you take into consideration the box of wonderful fluff I have waiting for me upstairs and the arrival of a jumbo flyer, for all the chunky wool funtimes. I also got two dyeing saucepans from my uncle and a measuring jug so that I don't poison everybody.
We are go on crafts, people. Go, go, go.
* I didn't write home, exactly. But I did email my mum.