Monday, May 31, 2010

Maiden Voyage

So, um, my plans changed. They just had to. I was already having a very hard time acting like a grown-up, last Friday at work, knowing that the very next morning was when I could finally go get my wheel. Phyllis from R & M Yarns in Georgetown called me around 2:30pm to tell me it had arrived in her store intact, and added the teasing remark, "Ya know, if you left right now, you could make it before we close."

Arrrrrgh! I told her that I was at work and had to stay until it would be too late to make it down to Georgetown before her 5:30pm closing time. She then blew me away with offering to meet me back at the store to let me get my wheel, after hours. All I had to do was call her when I got to her town!

Oh. My. Gawd! That's when I really went stupid, turning into a jumping four-year-old. All pretenses at mature grace went right the hell out the window when I realized it would actually be in my hands that very night! I hung in there at work as best I could for a little bit more, when our boss just happened by our office door. Without having planned too, I blurted out, "Would the world come to an end if I left at four?" Despite the coding still being behind, and by all rights the answer should've been 'no,' she said yes.

So I squirmed and coded until 4:00 and then hauled ass in my v8 caddy to Georgetown!

If you local folks will recall, Friday evening was when our region of Tennessee got that monsoon of a downpour, up to four inches that night in the parts I was in. Yeah, I drove right through that storm and emerged out the other side of it just as I got off the exit at her town. The sun popped back out and my wheel was inside that sunlight, very nearby. I'm glad their local law enforcement wasn't looking that evening, 'cause I didn't slow down.

She and her hubby were already there waiting for me, and there was my wheel with my name on a piece of paper taped to the box!

Chillbumps and tingles is all I can say 'bout that moment.

Then I hugged Phyllis. Then I shopped the daylights out of her store. Roving, sock yarn, and a purple Zuma Namaste bag also went back home with me that night (chuckle).

The weather stayed nice the rest of the night, so, with all that goodness in my trunk, I drove home up 75N on damp roads, with freshly washed pines flanking me for an hour, partly cloudy skies, a setting sun, and much lighter traffic. Perfection!

And as soon as I got home, it was a moment to pee, about two moments to change into my pajamas, and then the assembly of my new wheel commenced.

As is tradition with the Ladybug wheels, I first took a moment to find where on mine the bejeweled ladybug was hidden. Ah, she's right where I can always see her while I spin - more perfection!

This is how she came out of the box, only needing her treadle pedals to be attached. The flywheel assembly isn't on yet, but it's an on-n-off kinda thing anyway, so it doesn't count towards the assembly.

Ya know, putting them pedals on myself, and reading through where all the drive band and spring string goes, went a long ways towards learning all of its parts and what they do. The bonding 'tween the wheel and me had begun.

And here she is all complete!

I had a small amount of purple fiber (unknown what kind), that was part of the massive amount of fiber gifted to me by a friend who can no longer knit/spin due to carpal tunnel syndrom. It was too small of an amount to do much with, project-wise, but that made it perfect for experimenting.

So I loaded it up, and (it's gotta be said) gave it a spin! Another pleasant surprise was how quickly it spun up. I know wheels are faster than drop spindles, which is part of why I wanted to take that next step into Wheel Land. But holy crap, that was so fast!

This was when I messed with the tension settings and the two different grooves (different ratios) on that medium whorl. Once that was a tightly spun single, I tried something else about which I've been curious: Navajo plying. I might as well, with just one single, ya know? As messy, clumsy, and downright gnarly as that seemed while doing it for my first time, the result was yet another good surprise. I gotta practice that little manuever, 'cause I can see me using it a lot in the days to come.

So I made some newbie-lookin' purple yarn.

By then, it was pert near midnight, and I had been awake since 4am. I finally went to sleep, with a grin on my face. My first conscious thought Saturday morning was, "I got my wheel!"

Since then, I've spun up some of the Frabjous Fiber BFL Top I had gotten last Christmas, in the Atlantis colorway. Like a lot of beginner spinners' yarns, this one starts out kinda rough at the beginning, but then gets more even about midway. It's currently hanging up to dry and set, after it's soaking. Yeah, I spun up 4 ounces of it on Saturday and then 2-plied it on Sunday.

This closeup photo is currently the wallpaper for my 'puter's desktop, because I just can't stop lookin' at it!

I'm calling it Maiden Voyage, since it's my first wheel-spun, and as a salute to the roving's color name. And the play on words of 'maiden' in relation to a spinning wheel didn't escape me.

Both days saw my spinning done before and after our WoW guild's scheduled raids. Saturday, we did a guild 10-man run back through the Ice Crown Citadel, and folks, we finally got Festergut down! We took a peek at his brother Rotface, just to see how that fight looks, since it was a first time look-see for a lot of us. We couldn't really pursue that fight though, 'cause by then some guildmates had to log off for the night.

Sunday, yesterday, our guild's 10-man team buddied up with a similar guild's team to form a 25-man raid. Yeah, we pugged some, but it was all good. I'm so proud of what all we've been able to do, and have fun doing, as a friends-n-family style of guild, instead of a hard core raiding guild. From what I'm hearing, ICC is causing those serious guilds enough stress, that it's becoming a guild-breaker. Huh. We're progressing and having a blast doing it. Maybe it's 'cause we're more about playing together every weekend than we are about what we do in game. I'd do the in-game fishing if I could do it with my friends, ya know?

And that other guild we partnered with yesterday? They're a lot like us, so it was a fun, stress-free, playful kinda way to spend time in-game. Pardon my moment of elitism here, but them serious guilds that get all cranky during their raids could really take a page out of our book and remember that it's a game, and it's supposed to be fun.


  1. Oh are in such trouble now! -grin- Are you aware of the Fiber Festivals taking place all over the country?
    I've got a listing on my website and am in process of putting an updated list on my blog.

  2. Looking over this post, it's hard to believe it's only been two and half years ago that I got my wheel. Seems like the Lady and I have been together my whole life.
    Wow, just two years, huh?