a story of a wheel

[written 03/15/06]

[uh, yeah, if you’re not interested in spinning wheels, this might be a tad boring. at least the pics should be somewhat entertaining ;) ]

last thursday, i received the message that my trapezing class was canceled for that saturday and though later i was happy about that since we had crazy rain weather, initially when i heard the message i was totally bummed. what to do with my weekend? i really wanted to do something different, get out of l.a., move around, see new things, something. i was just feeling all cooped up.

sooo, friday night i decide, huh! i sould drive up to solvang, a little town just north of santa barbara, and visit the spinning store there. i was pretty positive that i wanted a majacraft rose, and was saving up money to get one later this month. however, knowing that the solvang store was a kromski dealer, i justified the idea of driving 5 hours in one day by thinking that i needed to try a kromski wheel just to be absolutely sure.

i really didn’t think i would like any kromskis – i had read others say that it was too fidgety and too many knobs and just not very stable. but the logical part of me really wanted to like the wheel since, at half the price of the rose, i could buy a kromski today. anyhow, it was an excuse to touch wheels, fondle fiber (yeah, you heard me right), and just get out of town.

when i arrived at the store, the man there told me that they didn’t have any kromski castle wheels to spin on, only the prelude, one of their saxony wheels. i was crushed and felt pretty foolish for driving all the way up and not checking first to make sure they had practice wheels available. after a bit of chatting and some out loud wishing, he decided to go down to the basement and assemble a krosmki minstral for me to try out. yay!

then, twenty minutes of assembling, with me getting more and more excited – all of a sudden, i just had a good feeling about this wheel. now, for you non-spinners (hurrah to you for reading this!), no one wheel is perfect for everyone. really, the only way to know what’s best for you is to sit down and spin. with the minstral, as soon as my feet hit the treadle, i was grinning from ear to ear and laughing with happiness. always a good sign. after about two minutes, i knew i was going to buy the wheel and take it home with me that very day. total excitement!

and that is how i got a kromski minstral. since then, i’ve just had a total feeling of rightness about my decision, like it’s a continuation of all kinds of interests and styles i’ve been following my whole life. the minstral looks like it came out of a eastern european fairy tale, spins like butter, is solid as a rock, and is just a well-thought out , beautifully wood-turned tool.

[another day when my cameria is more accomodating, i’ll give you all a nice little tour of the wheel – it’s particularly clever with the storage of the extra whorlsthe use of, and the leather and hemp used replaces any need for plastic. i’m still trying to figure out the staining – initially, i wanted a rich dark walnut stain like my table, then i tried a fruitwood stain, as seen on the darker bobbin, but now the snow white-y-ness of the unfinished wheel is starting to seem right. hm, decisions decisions. also, yarn-wise, that’s about 250 yards of merino in each color, mostly worsted weight. all in all, this is the sweetest smelling softest yarn i’ve made yet. yayyayayayayayy. love my wheel. ]