Little Peggy Spinning Wheel
Post date: Apr 29, 2009 5:26:51 PM
I finished my spinning bench just in time to use with my Little Peggy! The bench is made of some clear pine that I had left over from a bookcase I made a while back. I was very excited about the bench because it was put together completely with joinery and pegs, which means there are no nails used at all. The pegs took the stain darker than the pine, making them a design element to be noticed.
The spinning wheel was made in the mid 1900s and I purchased it from a woman in New Zealand. After waiting two weeks for it to clear customs, I received the package. My children thought it was delightful to get something so big in the mail. And I was frantic to getting my spinning itchy fingers on it.
After spinning on it continuously for two weeks, I highly recommend it. It has a double drive band, or you can use scotch tension. It has both options. I have discovered that I like the double drive band better. That leaves my scotch tension available to use on my lazy kate so that my plying bobbins are under tension, giving a nice even ply. I really like that the Little Peggy has it all right in front of you, nice and compactly. The wheel is very balanced and provides an even tension and pull on the fiber - it makes me wonder how I used to spin on my Ashford at all! I also like that the orifice is centered over the wheel so that my body can remain relaxed and square. That prevents me from getting overly tired, and saves my shoulders from getting a crick.
With a new wheel on hand, I figured I had better start to spin up some of the luxury fibers I had laying around, waiting until my skills where good enough to make some high quality yarn. I started with a tweed: one strand is white merino and the other is a mix of beautiful icelandic wool and alpaca that I got at Maple View Icelandics Farm. The icelandic and alpaca were left in their natural colors. I really like the natural colors of this and am happy to have found a nice combination for a "male" knit! The second skein is a white on white ply. One strand is merino and the other is silk. The silk strands gives this skien a soft sheen and will make a dressy knit.
Spinning silk was very challenging for me. Because the fiber is so soft and smooth, it just pulled out of my hands like butter. I found myself rethreading my wheel often. The finished product is delightful soft, however. Over all, my first luxury encounter was enjoyable, even if I am partial to wool.