On Christmas day, my family gave me the most generous Christmas gift ever and I've been spinning like the world is going to end tomorrow ever since, I can't say enough good things about this wheel. Over the 10 days surrounding Christmas & New Years, we travelled from Charlotte, to Orlando, to Atlanta and back, and the Sidekick went everywhere with us, and was ready to spin in easily anywhere we took it. I can't get over how fast I'm moving through my fiber compared to the drop spindle, and I can't wait to put up new inventory in the shop for you so soon.
In the meantime, though, I've been having a lot of fun with these beautiful, psychedelic braids I received as gifts this Christmas. My first finished project off the wheel (seen above) is this beautiful BFL from Three Waters Farm, about 135 yards of aran weight, in the Cafe Diem colorway. I love spinning BFL! It's so bouncy and elastic, and is a great spinning fiber for practicing drafting (if you're new, and need the practice!). I have another braid of this as well, and I'm debating whether to double my yardage for a more substantial project or do the second braid as a Navajo ply and preserve the beautiful color repeats.
The second crazy colors I've been working through are in Hedgehog Fibre's 50/50 Merino & Silk top in colorway E. I'm hoping it'll come out to be a fingering weight 2 ply. It's incredibly soft and shiny, and the most silk I've worked with spinning. It's a bit slippery, but I like it.
Overall, Melo is adjusting to his new position, and leaving plenty of cat hair behind in protest. ;)
If you're wondering, the new wheel is the Schacht Sidekick. After all of my research, watching hours of YouTube videos and finally trying a few wheels in person, I chose it because it had a lot of the features that I was excited about (lots of ratios, extra large bobbins compared to other models, Scotch tension), while still being a compact spinning wheel, made from high quality wood materials (not MDF) and made domestically in Boulder, CO. It's a sturdy little wheel that sits well on the floor, which I know is a complaint for other models of compact wheels, and I've heard, though I have not tried it, spins a lot like Schacht's high-end model, the Matchless. I just love it. If you have any other questions about how to choose a spinning wheel, please send me a message or comment below, or check out the blog post I put together with articles to help potential spinning wheel shoppers a few months ago, here.
My vision for 2016 is to really take my fiber practice from sheep to skein, and to that end I've been ordering and perusing high quality American-grown fleeces to prepare into handspun yarns. If you know of any farms that I should check out, I'd love to hear about them!
Here's to resisting all of the leftover Christmas candy, and to keeping all of our resolutions!