Posted by: jinniver | June 10, 2010

Because the yarn could run out

One might think that I have enough yarn.  And I’ll admit–I’m well-stocked. (I said stocked, people. With an “o”.  And yes, that too…)  But I think that’s a short-sighted attitude, personally.

I mean, what if a world-wide yarn shortage hits?  And what about 2012?  I figure if I’ve got enough yarn, there’s no way the world can end, just like if Sarah Winchester never stopped building…right.  Never mind.  But ok–what if 2012 is only a partial apocalypse?  The LYSs will probably be closed for at least a few days, and I’m determined to have enough yarn to see me through.

Which is why, despite already having reached SABLE (stash acquisition beyond life expectancy), I’ve bought a spinning wheel.

Although I have had plans for just such a purchase for some time, this purchase was very spur of the moment.  A spinning wheel, a quality one, is an investment, and I just didn’t feel my interest and skill (I’d just stated drop spinning) justified that much money.  So a spinning wheel was on the “someday” list.

Then I saw the tweet from Knitting News, a Twitter account I follow, that someone was selling used spinning wheels for great prices.  I hopped over to the website in question, The Thrifty Knitter, and found that Nikol (site owner) was selling several spinning wheels she’d had for her spinning school.  So many students were now bringing their own wheels that she no longer needed all these wheels, so she was selling.  A few of the wheels were already purchased, including my favorite of the bunch, but several were still available.  The prices were all under $300…it just seemed like the opportunity I hadn’t realized I’d been waiting for.  I checked with Steve, got an enthusiastic concurrence, and sent an email about one of the other wheels.

Nikol emailed back quickly to tell me that one had since been purchased, but she listed the ones still available…and it turns out I’d misread the site–my favorite was on the list.  I fired off another quick email, and shortly after I had a Paypal invoice for an older model Louet S10.  I’m not sure the electrons had all settled in my computer before I’d sent my payment back.

I knew there’d be a delay in shipping because life was rather busy for Nikol just then, so I managed to wait patiently…right up until I got the UPS notification that the wheel had shipped.  Then I became a bit obsessive about checking the tracking website.  How obsessive?

spinning wheel trip

Yes.  I tracked the wheel across the country.  All 1300ish miles of the journey–every time the UPS site told me there’d been a new stop, I plugged it into Google maps.

Delivery was scheduled for today, and sure enough I saw that it went out for delivery from the nearest hub at 5:57am.  I’d planned to go to one of my LYSs today (she got a new order of Three Irish Girls in!), but I didn’t want to leave before the wheel arrived because I didn’t want to risk missing it.

Just before 4pm, I refreshed the website just for the heck of it, and was stunned to see the status was now Delivered.  Really?  I checked location:  PORCH.  So I flew to the door, ripped it open…and there it was.  My UPS driver needs a refresher on doorbell ringing procedures, apparently.

No matter–I had my wheel!  The kids came pelting downstairs at the sound of the door; I’d told them about my expected delivery.  “Wow, Mommy!” Jeffrey blurted when he saw the box.  “That’s a lot of steering wheels!”

So, my son’s a bit more NASCAR than Yarn Harlot.

We all sat down together so I could reassemble my wheel and they could supervise/ask a lot of questions (“Why’s that a spinning wheel, Mommy?”  “Because it’s a wheel that spins yarn.”  “Why’s it a wheel?”  “Because it looks like a wheel.”  “Why does it spin?”  “Because that’s what wheels do.”  “Why’s it a wheel?”…).  The directions were terse but clear, and Nikol had kindly sent me an email with some assembly/spinning tips.  The only problem I was having was with the drive band; I knew where it was supposed to go (at least, I thought I knew), but I couldn’t see how to get it there.  So I pulled over my trusty laptop to do some internet research, much to Jeffrey’s dismay. “Mommy, why are you doing computer when the spinning wheel isn’t finished?” he scolded me.

Pleading ignorance wasn’t getting me anywhere, so it was fortunate that I quickly found just the image I needed and verified what I thought was the correct drive band placement.  Then I learned the drive band was more elastic than I realized.


my first spinning wheel

The wheel came with 3 large dual-speed bobbins, and Nikol even added 2 bags of fiber to get me started. One bag looks like a natural colored brown, and the other is a purple and blue dyed roving (I adore cool colors).  Haven’t started spinning yet–I’ve got a design I’m working on, and the proposal deadline is Sunday!–but I will be soon.  Very, very soon.



  1. Awesome! I have two Kromskis, myself. And Sheep and Wool was just an excuse to go fiber shopping. 🙂 I didn’t bring home one inch of millspun yarn, but did bring home 4 oz of Jacob, some wool/mohair blends, a wool/alpaca (I think) blend, merino/silk, polworth, silk, and 3 lots of 8 oz of wool. And a fleece. Spinning might be just a tad addictive….

  2. Congrats on the new toy! Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  3. That’s what I get for not checking back regularly; I saw the note on Facebook about the wheel and was waiting to see it!

    Did you know that there are natural cottons that come in various colors, including a soft green? I just found a seed catalog with all sorts of weird, Southern-specific seeds. Now, if the DH would just let me plow under more of the yard, I could keep you stocked with fiber…


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