So about the wheel, I chose to buy a Lendrum from Jane's Sheepish Things in Delaware. The reviews I've read all touted it as a solid, all purpose wheel that grows with the spinner and lasts for years. It's made in Canada, out of sturdy and stable hard maple. It's a portable wheel that folds for storage or travel and its incredibly easy to set up and adjust.
I already feel completely comfortable with this wheel. Friday night was spent learning to adjust it to make a single. Saturday morning I figured out the adjustments for plying. Here's what I learned:
- A wheel is like a bicycle. When you shift to a smaller ratio the wheel will turn faster for the same speed of treadling, but the treadling will take more effort. Just like pedaling first gear on a bike is so much easier than pedaling tenth gear, but you'll go faster in tenth gear.
- A looser tension on the brake of the bobbin will cause less take up pull on the yarn. Tighter tension will cause a faster take up. At least on my wheel. I've often wondered what was meant when someone would write "adjust your tension" because they would never say which adjustments would give what result.
- When plying with the Lendrum, the mother of all needs to be lowered to loosen the tension on the drive band. I had to search the net to figure out why my wheel just stopped when plying. I was told that the mother of all was adjustable so as to account for the height of your chair. In my experience, this is just not so.
By the end of the day Saturday, I'd spun up a half-pound of fiber into this bouncy, chunky weight yarn.