I was blessed with a husband who enabled my addiction. My first wheel was an Ashford Traveller (he got a flintlock, I got a wheel - works for me!) - I'm currently in the process of decorating it. Here it is..not quite finished, but I took a picture anyway:
Actually, I changed directions with where I was going with the decorations. *g* It's now a nice, bright, shiny walnut:
I almost feel like I should rename this page something like "The Alden Amos Fan Club" or "AA Junkies Anonymous" or somesuch. His work is wonderful, and his wheels are addictive.....
My second wheel is my true love - an Alden Amos Scottish Castle wheel. I can treadle her with my big toe, start and stop her with just a thought.... all in all a beautiful and efficient wheel! Alden is a genius, and I can't say enough nice things about him and his workmanship! It will spin just about anything from silk to wool to flax. (Lotta treadling on the finer grists, but still effortless!) I decided that the bobbins were too small for plying, so Alden made me a bulky flyer. I'm using it more than the original flyer - the bobbins are HUGE.
The craftmanship on all of Alden's equipment is just amazing. Here - see for yourself in these shots of the gorgeousness of the work:
Just for comparision, and for fun and educational purposes, here is a shot of 3 bobbins: the AA Bulky, the AA Original, and the Ashford. What a difference! Any questions as to why I prefer the Bulky??
I have decided I want to spin cotton. The first person I contacted was Alden; my wheel, while wonderful, is not really suited for the high ratios cotton needs - too much treadling to be efficient. So, he twisted my arm, and I ordered one of his Banjo Charkas. I haven't made friends with it yet - a spindle and an active toddler just don't mix! But, with what little I've done on it, I am impressed. Can't wait to actually have time to play with it!
It lives on the wall in my studio, to keep little hands away from the spindle. It's pretty sharp and dangerous, and therefore very inviting to kidlets.
And finally, after 3 years of deliberation, arguements, and discussion, the wheel stork delivered my Beautiful, Wonderful, Extremely Efficient Norwegian Wheel. Alden has done it again - this wheel is...well, let's just say I am in Love with this wheel.
I just can't say enough about this wheel. It's got a lot of ooomph in a small footprint, it's very easy to carry around, and - wow. It spins effortlessly. I'm trying to think of places I can haul it to, just because I can!
I am so enamored of this wheel, I took lots of pictures. The figure of the wood is..well, it's amazing. The turnings are - well, here - have a look:
In fact, I love him so much.....I just ordered *another* wheel (March, 2007). This one will be a Canadian Production Wheel, and I am planning on using it for sales yarn. This will keep my other 2 wheels for demos and "fun" yarn, and will hopefully not ruin my pleasure in spinning on them. Here's hoping, anyway. I ordered the standard one, with an extra flyer array. If things work out, I'll be able to use the jumbo flyer from the Scottish Wheel on it.
I purchased an Ashford Joy to schlepp around to demos and such. Nice wheel - but very small (that's it's selling point, duh!) A little hard to get used to after my AA...but great for just tossing in the car and going places. I finally made the decision to part with it - I kept looking for excuses to *not* use it. It's at a home where it is much loved now!
I recently acquired a Louet S-15 to teach people on. It's bobbin lead, which is easy to use, but - uuuuugggggggggggggggh! Compared to my AAs, it sucks - it isn't as easy to treadle, it isn't efficient for fine yarns (which I tend to lean towards)...but it's practically indestructible, and it's really easy to figure out. I keep trying to make friends with it...but it's slow going.
Annnnnnnnnnnnnd - here is my spindle collection. The sheepie was made by the very talented Potwench:
Here's the spindles, one by one....I don't have that many, by serious spindler's ideas, but I have enough:
And, of course, the required Alden Amos section of our collection:
OK, so this isn't a wheel, but it is from the wonderful AA workshop. It's a squirrel-cage swift, and it's used to help unwind skeins of yarn. The woodwork is gorgeous!
My antique clock reel - I got a whale of a deal on eBay! It actually clicks!
I needed a blocking reel to properly finish my handspun, so I asked the church handyman if he'd make me one. He did a wonderful job!
Alden's kates are wonderful, but my storage bobbins won't fit on any of them. After a bit of thought, I made some myself using a piece of aluminum bar stock and some 2x4 pieces. Not pretty, but work great!