I’ve daydreamed of spinning my yarn for some time. There’s just a quiet peace when watching someone spin. I have seen different parts of the sheep to shawl experience, and have envied the process. I feel once you get the hang of it it would be like sewing on a treadle machine and the satifaction it gives me as well as the function it provides. In my sewing classes I always say to my students “learn your tool”…. (speaking of their sewing machine) it’s not how fancy the sewing machine or shovel or whatever tool you are using, just knowing how to use it to it’s best performance. A straight stitch sewing machine can create beautiful things, it’s in the eye of the beholder. Now back to my spinning wheel post: I have research long and hard at the spinning options. I have tried the drop spindle and that process is a pain to my hand and wrist, but I enjoyed the process and knew if I wanted to spin it would be with a treadle type wheel. I have used the antique version that is at the living farm, but it’s HUGE… so a compact design. Now, I coveted my friend Cathy’s when she would bring her Ashford traveller to the farm for demonstration. Unfortunately that was abit out of price range. THEN, I ran across this article: the Dodec Spinning wheel for $7.00 in spinningdailing.com.
The plans are free… yes… free to make your own wheel. Then I found the Ravelry group here: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-dodec
So, the last day of January, on a beautiful sunny day I started mine. I am NOT a wood worker. The plans and directions make it simple and easy for anyone to make this. I had to make some changes, I just could not ‘rip’ a length of board with a 20 degrees angle TO SAVE MY LIFE. That will baffle me forever… I tried and failed a couple of times so I had to figure something else to make the wheel with. I really just wanted to find an old bike wheel and not re-invent the wheel, but I couldn’t find one. I also wanted NO COST in my wheel. I wanted to make this with only what I had on hand. I had all sorts of helpers during this project, dog, cats, chickens, birds… OK… I have to explain….. my hand is not really that close to the blade and yes, those are old skiing goggles used as safety glassesThe bird was watching for most of the day from the tree branches over head until she could stand it no more and came down to supervise my painting….. and my DH totally agrees with the bird about my painting ability!! They both want to take the brush away from me! The base went together very smoothly and made with a left over plywood board from something we did to the house. I cut and marked a paper template to mark the upper receiver section.I dug through our bins of nails, screws and parts and found these bolts. I’m soaking them in wd-40 to see if I can save them for this project. I even found an old hinge that had paint all over it and I am rescuing that by soaking in the bottom of the bin with the bolts. This is the wheel, the spindle, treadle, and other assort finds to incorporate in to the spinning wheel. I used up a spray can of white paint on the wheel and I used a “tester” can of solid stain that I bought as a sample color for the house and didn’t like…. Still no cost….I made an adjustment to the wheel since as mentioned before the whole ripping didn’t work. We had leftover shoe molding scraps. Pieces were already painted white on one side from preparing the molding to go on the walls. Well, molding has a sort of bevel at the top which is thinner than the rest of the piece. The way the directions are for this spinning wheel you are creating a “slot” or grove for the band to turn the wheel. Mine is a little bit deeper than the original directions, but it will work… hopefully….. I really have to commend the author of these directions… they are totally clear and pretty easy to understand. BUT if you should have a question about what in the world a” jig” is…. You tube to the rescue!! Edmund Dantes is the designer and creator of this wheel. He also takes the time to video a few of the tricker parts on building his wheel. How awesome!! The easiest way to find any information is though Ravelry : http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Bishopofknit/700-spinning-wheel you can find links and pictures. I actually found this after I started making mine…. and I wish I found it before I started on the whole bolts part….
I made a misstake with the dowel rod/spindel section and when I asked on the ravelry page I was helped that same evening.
Here’s my wheel:
Here’s the upper receiver and a close up of the wheel. I couldn’t find a shaker peg, but I found this little drawer pull..Now, I have to learn to spin, becasue right now, I am terrible. I also have to figure out why I have a dead zone on the spinning of the upper part between 10 and 12 oclock…..
I really had a fun time building this little project and hope to have loads of hand spun yarn in the near future to show off…. For now, I need time to practice!