More Early Gifts, this time material. I have been looking for a production spinning wheel for awhile. I have spent 3 years over thinking the purchase.
This fall when John and I went down to the fiber festival in Ashville NC, I spun on a bunch of wheels. The one I really liked is a Matchless, made by Schact. Unfortunately, it is one of the more expensive wheels on the market. I remembered my neighbor said, if I ever wanted to try her wheel I could, so I gave her a call. When I went over to pick it up, I was surprised to see that it too was a Matchless. Of course, I told myself that maybe when I spun a little longer on the Matchless, I would find some things I did not like about it. That didn't happen, so I went over to our closest spinning supplier to see if I could find one I liked almost as much, nope. Last week I looked on ebay, which I check a few times a year. And there it was, on the first page, another Matchless. This one was used and missing a couple of parts. Parts are not expensive and readily available, so the bidding began. On the evening of 12/12/12, I became the winning bidder at a very reasonable price. It is on the way here and I am very excited.
Now, I thought to myself, I can spin hundreds of skeins of yarn. I went out to the fiber shed, to card some Cotswold for some Christmas gifts, and soon became discouraged. The locks are open but where they were shorn off the sheep, it was difficult to get the locks free from each other and the pre carding step became very tedious.
I remembered talking to a woman at Farm Day, this fall when I was spinning, who had a picker. She gave me her number and told me I could come over and try it, so yesterday I did. Wow, what a piece of equipment. I asked her if I could rent it because I didn't think she would want to sell it and If she did, I thought it would be too expensive. Turns out she wanted to sell it and gave me a great price. Now I can spin hundreds of skeins of yarn.
We have basically 3 types of fleece here and all have to be treated and prepared differently, but this will really help. It is a monster machine which I will say more about later but for now I am enjoying one early gift and waiting excitedly for the other.