I can say this now that it’s over: I don’t care for August.
The fun of summer is essentially over and the fun of fall has not yet begun. It’s a fun void.
Of course, I probably feel that way cause I spend my fall weekends out at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival with Marci Blank of Th’red Head Designs (Booth #337! Come say hi!). My favorite duty of the gig is spinning demonstrations. Marci is the Kansas City area dealer of SpinOlution wheels, so that’s what we spin on out there. They’re neat, built in Washington state and tested in California. I spun on an Echo model last year that I loved. Of course, it sold, so Marci had to order in a new one for this season.
The timing of the delivery was off, though, and Marci was away on vacation when it was delivered. Naturally, she didn’t want her investment to sit in the heat and humidity for the days she was gone, so she asked me to pick it up. For my trouble, I got to put it together and be the first to try out the new wheel!
The wheel does come in a few parts: The wheel, two “legs” for it to stand on, the flyer, and all the hardware you need, which of course includes a drive band. Additionally, you need a phillips head screwdriver. Most of the wheels include three bobbins, Marci got two extra for Ren Fest purposes (I can have a 2-ply project going on, and she can have a 2-ply project going on, no one waits!).
Marci also splurged on the 8oz flyer, which has five ratios! (pictured left) That, plus the size of the pegs on the flyer, means you can spin all kinds of yarn on this wheel. My other favorite features on this wheel: the pedals pop up (pictured center) to make it easy to replace the drive band, and new on this model it comes with a hairband-sizes drive band to keep it closed when you move the wheel. Speaking of moving the wheel, it has a handle! (pictured right) As someone who spins all over the place, this is huge.
However, I also hit a couple of snags in this unboxing:
On all of the SpinOlution wheels I have spun on, the orifices use magnets to stay on the wheel, which is pretty cool. So I was totally confused when I couldn’t take off the orifices with the same ease on this new model. It turns out one side of the flyer and where it fits in the orifice did not line up (left). So I had to call for back-up from woodworker Dad (center). He realigned that piece, and when I still had some trouble, he sanded both sides down for me until it popped on and off like the old one did. He also helped me sand the inside of the handle a bit, which disappointingly had some rough spots (again, that’s my favorite part!). Once that was all done, I got ready to spin and found I had a hard time treadling. The wheel was wobbling almost half an inch in toward the base. Due to shipping, it turns out, the wheel can become unbalanced. Marci sent me this video on how to fix it. It’s a little bit of a tricky process, involving sticking you screwdriver through two very small holes to tighten screws on the back of the wheel, but it did the trick!
After these minor, annoying inconveniences were overcome, I love this new model even more than the old one! I’m looking forward to a great season of spinning with it (until someone buys this model of course!).