Saturday, August 2, 2008

Spinning at Mach 1

What an afternoon! My husband gifted me with a couple of hours today so that I could head on down to Unraveled and meet Janice (Janro on ravelry) and her lovely spinning wheel - the Mach 1 by SpinOlution

Last September the spin bug bit me, and I came home from the L.A. County fair with a simple little spindle and a tiny bag of roving. I played with it for a bit, but nothing took until I got the book Start Spinning by Maggie Casey a few weeks ago. Then I was off and running. I am now the proud mother of a couple of mini-skeins of hand spun yarn, and 1 4 oz skein that I truly hope will make a hat for me soon. I am by no means an expert at this stage of infancy in my spinning, but when I heard from Janice that she was going to be demonstrating a spinning wheel at my local LYS I knew I had to be there.

The Mach 1 is sleek and solid - two very good things as far as I'm concerned. Especially with small children in the house! I really liked the look of the wheel - it just seemed to scream efficiency. There was no wasted wood, or extra do dads to get in the way. I really liked the open hook at the front of the bobbin - the less fiddly a thing is the better I usually like it. Janice sat me down with some BFL wool and within a few minutes I was spinning a single that was passable - definitely needed work - but passable! The draw seemed smooth, and I had more fun than should be legal without alcohol for the couple of hours that I was in Unraveled this afternoon. I was able to try coarse short fiber wool, and the silken long draw of a 100% bamboo roving in addition to the initial BFL. Each was truly a unique feeling and experience, and through it all I felt like the Mach 1 performed wonderfully!

Things I liked as a beginner... no little hole to dictate how large or small my single had to be, and therefore no threading. I liked that it had multiple ratios available without having to change out whorls - you just pull up the drive belt and set it in the groove you wish. The tension was easy to find, and easy to adjust. There is nothing moving about in the back where I can't see it (and therefore have children get into when I am unawares...). And finally, the bobbin is HUGE. I have read all over Ravelry about spinning wheels with bobbins that hold 2 oz, or 4 oz, but never one like this at a whopping 8oz. My eyes glaze over just thinking about the amount of yarn that will fit onto that thing. Truly wonderful. I only wish it came with one or two more bobbins. It will be kind of hard to ply with only one bobbin....

For my first time at the wheel, it was a resounding success, and I will be putting away my pennies for a wheel starting yesterday.

And the best part of all? Christine will be selling them at her store Unraveled, in Monrovia!

It just doesn't get better than that - unless you add lessons...