I’m now up in Shetland for a few days. There were various people I needed to see, others I wanted to see, and many I both needed and wanted to see!!
Steve, Nigel and I travelled up on the ferry overnight on Thursday, and I spent most of yesterday with Niela at her home in Hosswick. We had a fair amount of work to do – and I had to try some of her wheels!!
I decided earlier in the year that I needed a big wheel for production spinning. I wasn’t sure whether a 24″ wheel would be big enough, or whether I needed a 30″ wheel. Niela had both so I was able to try them out.
In fact, her biggest wheel is a 31″ not a 30″. It is an older Timbertop, and that style is no longer made. It was a lovely wheel, very well run in and working extremely smoothly:
Niela has several 24″ wheels, one a Reeves, predating the Schacht Reeves. Spinning on that told me straight away that while it was a lovely wheel, the 24″ was very similar to my 18″ Orkney wheel, and that I needed a 30″, not a 24″. Playing with another lovely 24″, a Norwegian this time, convinced me.
Because they were there and I was there and wheels are meant to be spun on, I also had a go on Niela’s Matchless (OK – both of them!!). Interestingly, it did nothing for me – good wheel and all that, but nothing special. She also has a Majacraft Aura. That wasn’t a wheel for me either – I like it better than the Suzie I has tried elsewhere, but it still did nothing for me. (Spinners will know exactly what I mean!!)
Between trying wheels, we got a lot of work done, but not all finished, so I will be going back on Monday morning so that I can get a shot on her Louet electric drum carder and we can finalise our plans.
On the way back to our self catering unit I had to go and see Oliver Henry at J&S. He is presently working on sorting the coloured fleece and he was commenting on how the grey fleeces tend not to be as good as the other colours – far fewer graded Fine…
Sandra was in the shop and while talking to her I noticed a new book. It was a retrospective of Sasha Kagan’s patterns from the 70s to the present. I love her work (and she is a lovely lady) so I bought a copy for bedtime reading. Having had a quick flick through it is well worth having – hand knit history as well as patterns.