Gloria, I think I got your number

There is no justification, I can make excuses like it's my 30th birthday next month, it's a natural progression from a spindle, the price is going up soon, the free lazy kate offer ends next month etc etc. There are no excuses as I need another hobby like I need a hole in the head. A spinning wheel is a big expensive thing to buy when really nobody needs a spinning wheel anymore. I don't know why watching twist run up into fibre that's being pulled out is so mesmerizing and addictive. But now I have a spinning wheel and I can watch it for years to come.

I spent a while researching wheels and eventually having looked at lots of articles like this one in Knitty by the talented font of spinning knowledge Abby Fraquemont I decided on the Louet Julia. It's the newest Louet wheel with scotch tension, lots of ratios (which are kinda like bicycle gears) so you can spin many types of yarn on it and it is from a reliable company known for making solid long lasting wheels. Also it comes with a tensioned lazy kate and is going up in price soon so the time seemed right to buy it.

The very helpful and nice lady at Scottish Fibres where I purchased it also recommended the wheel to me. I can really recommend this company. They answered all my questions about the wheel, they stock a great range of fibres and the postage to Ireland for such a big heavy object was very reasonable.

Here's a look in the box.

It comes flat packed. There's an instruction book and a set of tools with the wheel so putting it together couldn't have been easier. It's actually no more than screwing a few bits together. Even the most flat pack phobic should have no trouble putting it together.

Here she is all set up. Isn't she pretty? I think it's a really lovely wheel. I like the modern upright look and the engineering of it is superb. So simple with no unnecessary parts. Notice the little collie toy, Scottish Fibres included him as a wheel mascot for free. A lovely touch I thought.

When I started thinking of getting a wheel I got a few spinning books. I got Start Spinning by Maggie Casey which is a great introduction. She explains spinning really clearly and she also explains how to set up a spinning wheel which was really useful. I like this book a lot, there's not too much detail to confuse you with and she manages to explain something very visual in clear written terms which is no mean feat.

I also got Colour In Spinning by Deb Menz. This is a more advanced book that I'll use when I start dying and putting colours together in my spinning. It's like a textbook, there's so much information and the large format of the book makes it all very clear. There's a great explanation of colour at the start and the book is worth it for this alone. There's more than that though, she explains dying, carding and combing to mix fibres. A great addition to the library.

So back to the wheel. It spins like a dream. It's double treadle and it's so easy to treadle. They say you should always try a wheel before you buy as you might not like it. I didn't have that option but thankfully I love this wheel. It seems to suit me. I spent a while just treadling and changing the ratios and the brake band to get a feel for the wheel. Since then I've been practicing every day. I'm now getting the hang of it a bit more I think. Since I had the spindle I found the drafting ok. I have to remember to let the yarn feed onto the bobbin and to treadle slowly. I think I'm nearly at the point where I can try a full project.

When I was reading about spinning wheels lots of people mentioned that your wheel has to have a name. Celtic Memory has a lovely post about the arrival of her new wheel and the search for a name for her.

A lot of people also mentioned that you can't just name your wheel, you have to spend time with it and at the right moment the wheel will tell you it's rightful name. I didn't really believe this and was all set just to call the wheel Julia as that's the name on the box. Well my wheel had other ideas. I was bringing it downstairs last night and the name Gloria popped into my head and won't leave. So her name is Gloria.

3 Responses to "Gloria, I think I got your number" (Leave A Comment)

Iamreddave says
March 20, 2009 at 3:42 AM

There are three people in this marriage now. And I'm not the one who spends their time with Gloria...

I'll have to up my game with the drop spindle to compete.

Sinéad says
March 20, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Wow! A spinning wheel! Looks brilliant, I have to say. You should bring some of your handspun to knit night to give us all a look when you can. Enjoy Gloria!

Anonymous says
March 23, 2009 at 9:05 AM

I heard in the pub at home here in Sligo that its very hard to get Irish wool any more. The guy was saying that he thought it would be a great idea to set up business in getting Irish wool. He seemed to think there would be an increasing demand partly due to the recession - he didn't say why though...hmmm.