Friday, October 21, 2005

A spinning wheel!

Yes, my fiber obsessions will continue! Although I'm still producing something akin to a really bad novelty yarn on the drop spindles, I'm getting a spinning wheel for Christmas. And not just any spinning wheel--a Schacht Matchless Double Treadle! I am getting a fantastic deal on this wheel from a yarn store owner and spinner who is, sadly, closing out her wheel inventory. I was wavering a bit between this and an Ashford Traditional (double drive, double treadle), but I was convinced by a number of people that the Schacht was the way to go, even though it was $300 more. My Schacht will be missing a lazy kate, but I can buy that easily.

I visited The Yarn Tree in Brooklyn last night and met the lovely owner, Linda, who was kind enough to let me try out a Schacht and a Kromski Prelude. The Prelude's single treadle drove me nuts (or maybe it was because it was the first wheel I've ever actually tried), but the Schacht was lovely. If you are ever in the Williamsburg neighborhood, you must visit The Yarn Tree. It is a lovely shop, with more Koigu than you can handle! It also happens to be the only store in New York City that carries fiber and wheels. Go figure--dozens of yarn stores and no fiber!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I was lucky enough to hitch a ride to Rhinebeck with Karen and her mom on Saturday. If you've never been to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, you have no idea how many fiber-crazed people there are out there. (And I'm told the one in Maryland is even bigger!)

This is the kind of place that fuels your wildest fantasies of making that Dale fair isle madness out of your own handspun yarn sheared and processed from your own flock of sheep. After an hour, I was ready to quit my job, buy some sheep and alpacas (with a few cashmere goats and angora bunnies thrown in), and start my own fiber farm. It poses a bit of a problem because we live in an apartment with no yard, but the urge is still there.

I was extremely lucky to get out of there without having put down hard cash on a wheel. Wait, let me rephrase: my husband was extremely lucky I left without putting a downpayment on a wheel. Seriously. I bought a beautiful drop spindle from Grafton Fibers, which is fueling the fire until I get a wheel.

I also bought 2 skeins of yarn from Brooks Farm, which is much more beautiful in person than on their website. The colors, the sheen, the drape--all of it works on this yarn. I also bought 1000 yards of kid mohair from Mohair in Motion, a steal at $32. This is destined to be either Lily Chin's Reversible Rib Shawl (see Laura's pink confection here) or an Orenberg-type lace shawl. I'm open to suggestions. I also bought a skein of Blue Heron Socks that Rock in the Sedona colorway. About 1/3 of the skein has become a pair of baby booties that perfectly match a sweater I bought for the baby. (Yes, I know I should be ashamed, but the mother and I aren't that close--booties suffice.)

I also purchased something for my Knitty Secret Pal, the Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls book from Interweave, and blocking wires.

Quite a haul, huh?

Oh, and I got to meet the lovely Franklin and Joe, the latter as he was spinning on his very own Robin wheel for the first time.