With Nielanell

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:

31" Timbertops wheel

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.

left to right - Schatch Matchless, Haldane Hebridean, 24" Norwegian

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!!)

Majacraft Aura and Reeves 24"

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.

12 thoughts on “With Nielanell

  1. I know exactly what you mean about wheels… I’m vaguely considering (code for ‘I will certainly get’) a new wheel soon, and some are just not right… good luck – I’ll be interested to see what choice you make.

    Sigh, Shetland… wish I could manage to go back this year. Maybe next…

  2. Hi Liz, your pictures of Switzerland were fabulous, but I bet your glad to be home on Flotta, and your trip to Shetland seems to be good as well did you get the Lout drum carder. Your Gansy sweater is really a smasher needless to say I liked it very much. How is the weather in Flotta and Shetland, hope to try to get Classic collection by Sasha Kagen, well I’ll close know hoping this finds you,Steve,&Nigel well. Muriel and Horst

    1. Hi Muriel, So glad you like the photos and the gansey. The book is really good – I must get round to a review… Scottie sends his love to Horst and says he was an excellent companion on walks!! Liz

  3. Liz, it’s lovely to see the photos of you and of Oliver. A high point of my trip to Scotland was the presentation you made together. I wish I could have brought home one of those fleeces!

    Another thing I wanted to bring home from an opportunity nearly 20 years ago was one of those lovely big Timbertops wheels. I think the model was called a Sherwood, although I may be remembering wrong. It was indeed that lovely large drive wheel, and I didn’t have room in my house for it. I still don’t, and I still wish I had it!

    I do have a lovely Reeves Norwegian.

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