Thursday, May 21, 2015

My Two Weeks with the Lady Rue

So, two whole weeks have passed with my new (to me) Ladybug.  And I am still head over heels.  I adore her.

I think the name is sticking.  She is the Lady Rue from Prudence by Gail Carriger.  Love the book & the character.  And there is an airship painted as a ladybug.  It seems to work for her.

It is so amazing to spin on her.  I really do love her.  The treadle is super smooth and sweet.  It was definitely a great choice for me.

It is interesting though.  I am trying to teach myself to modify the way I spin.  With the treadle being so easy & wide, I don't have to sit so close to the wheel.  And since the orifice is lower than the Babe & I can sit back from her, I can move back from the wheel. 

Also, I think that I can lean back as I am no longer a novice spinner.  I can relax my hold & position.  I don't feel the need to be right on top of the wheel to control it.

I have room between me and the wheel to hold the fiber.  So I can spin straight into the orifice.   But it does require thinking about things & changing where I hold my hands.  And I had my Babe since 2008!  So nearly eight years of spinning a certain way.

I was holding my hands to the left.  So I was twisting my body slightly.  With the new wheel, I am trying to remember to hold my hands in front of me, close to my lap.  I really think it is helping give me better control.  That is a huge plus.

Though I do find myself doing it still.  But after nearly eight years, it is going to take a bit of time to change. But overall, it is going well.

I am definitely glad I picked up the Drafting from Worsted to Woolen Craftsy class with Jacey Boggs.

I watched this before getting the wheel.  So it taught me a more about control & consistency.  Some of the concepts are pretty basic. But it is so smart that consistent distance between the hands is critical to maintaining consistent thickness.  Great class.  Definitely the right class at the right time.

(On a side note about the class, the only thing I wish from it was that there was class materials with pics of the different advantages & properties of each drafting technique.  There is a pdf, but it doesn't include the info in the class like showing the different yarns side by side.  It is minor, but it would really help.)

The spinning is great.  I am finding I can spin finer, more consistent singles.  I spun some beautiful alpaca/silk that is super fine.  Though I need to work on my plying...  More on that later.

All in all, I am so thrilled with my choice.

I still think buying the used wheel with the Woolee Winder was the best move for me.

Though there is still that little voice that wishes I got a completely new wheel because I could.  But that is just a desire for new because I could afford it.  The wheel is really great.  It is in good condition.  And I couldn't have afforded the Woolee Winder & so many bobbins, that's for certain.

I did purchase a couple new poly bands & a double drive band.  I also picked up a new break & new large o-ring pieces for the Lazy Kate.  Other than the poly drive band, none were critical.  I will swap out the old o-rings on the Lazy Kate when they arrive.  But I did ply with the ones on there and it worked well.

I confess though, there is a clicking with the Woolee Winder that concerns me.  It may be completely normal.  It may not.  Some awesome folks on the WW board on Ravelry helped me.  I think there should be a little plastic piece that goes around the threading eye that moves.  There isn't one.  So either that is a design change made by the company since this one was made or it is gone.

Thing is, there are parts that should have come with the WW to enable me to take it apart to clean it.  But there aren't.  And I don't know if I can find them.  They are small & challenging to replace I have been told. 

I would be less concern if I had heard back from the WW folks.  I have been assured their customer service is outstanding.  But I would completely get if the guy told me that it is a used flyer so he doesn't service them.  But tell me if that is the case. 

I did get a response to my email before Maryland Sheep & Wool.  I asked if the WW flyer could be used in both scotch & double drive mode.  They replied the same day. 

I wrote two weeks ago about getting a manual.  Then I wrote a week ago about getting the flyer serviced.  *sigh*  Kinda frustating as I really do love the WW.  But two emails without responses...  Not great.

One of the people from the board told me to call them but I loathe calling!  *laugh*  I may break down and do it.  But we shall see...

I have to say I adore the people on the WW board.  One sent me the manual.  She offered to meet up with me at the Webs tent sale to take a look at it.  She also offered suggestions on things that it could be.  She determined the issue is probably the missing plastic piece on the eye.  Another offered to take the flyer to someone who *works* for the company!  It was super sweet of them both.

I am thrilled with my purchase.  I love the Ladybug.  And I think it was the ideal choice for me.  I have been spinning daily. 

However, it caused the crazy to come out.  I purchased fiber to work on spinning enough for the Less Is More sweater.  A WHOLE FREAKING SWEATER.  Though after shelling out a whole lot of money, I realized that probably isn't in fact enough for a sweater in my size.  *pout*  Ah well.  I will see what yardage I get.  I may have to add some more fiber.  Mind you, this is probably a 3-4 year long project!  *laugh* 

I did wind the first yarn I spun on my Bug into a skein.  See that twist?!

Gale's Art
Alpaca-Silk Fiber Skeined w Overtwist

There are 3-4 twists in the yarn.  It is about over-plying I think. 

More pics and such are on my Ravelry page:

With the Babe, I have a bulky flyer which is much larger.  Also, I don't have a tensioned Lazy Kate for the Babe.  I use a box with pieces to hold the bobbins.  So the bobbins spin easily.  I suspect in trying to ply on Rue, I added way too much twist.  I did it on my largest ratio. But the Babe Bulky is very low.  (Can't track down the bulky ratio, but it is lower than the lowest ratio bobbins which are 5 7/8:1.  I think it was either 4 or 3.?.)   The lowest ratio on the Bug is 7:1.  So between the tensioning & the ratio, I definitely over-plied it.  *sigh*

I soak & snapped it.  But there are still some curly bits here & there.  The bulk of it is okay.  But I confess that I am bit sad as I had lace dreams.  An actual lace shawl with yarn I spun.  But alas, nope.  With the overspinning, I can't do anything with a detailed pattern as it may bias in a big way.  It could do bizarre things with any pattern. 

Mind you, I lost the tag & thought it was wool & silk.  But it is alpaca & silk.  And given the lack of memory in alpaca, not a great choice for lace anyhow.  *pout*  Ah well.  Even with the overtwist, it is still a pretty yarn.  The alpaca adds a bit of a halo which is nice.  And the silk adds some nice shine.  I am tempted to add some beads to weigh it down a bit to combat the twist.  But we shall see.  *smile*

I suspect I may use my Babe for plying unless/until I get a bulky flyer.  Though it would be interesting if I use the Lazy Kate on the Ladybug. 

I keep not getting this posted because I am adding to it!  So time to post it.

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