Friday, June 23rd, 2017 Posted in General News, Magazine, Spinning | No Comments »
Newly arrived here at the shop is the much awaited Ply - The Magazine for Handspinners - Bobbin-Led Summer 2017 Issue 17. This issue is near and dear to me, because it’s all about bobbin-led wheels. This kind of wheel can also be known as a single-drive or Irish tension wheel, and it’s exactly what I have at home!
While the Louet on the cover of this issue looks like it’s been around the block a few times, their model hasn’t changed much over the years. Simple and easy to use, the Louet S-10 CONCEPT ST Treadle, Classic Spinning Wheel, Irish Tension (also available as a double treadle) is an excellent example of a bobbin-led wheel. I use mine at home for all sorts of different kinds of yarns. In fact, this issue features a few very interesting pieces about the versatility (and perceived lack thereof) of bobbin-led spinning wheels.
Something a lot of spinners out there might not know is that it’s actually possible to turn your double drive or Scotch tension wheel into a bobbin-led wheel. In an article by Beth Smith (author of The Spinner's Book of Fleece: A Breed-by-Breed Guide to Choosing and Spinning the Perfect Fiber for Every Purpose), she describes the three main drive systems and how you can make a few minor, easy tweaks to your wheel to change that system. Lots of wheels are able to convert, but not all of them, so it’s good to get a grasp on what the differences are between the three systems in order to use your equipment to the fullest.
For more details on the wheels we carry, and a guide to comparing features, check out Amos’ post on How To Choose A Spinning Wheel!
Pavonine Shawl, by Liz Honig.
The biggest thing I took away from this issue of PLY was an overall encouragement to bend the rules. That is likely my own bias showing, but even Liz Honig, creator of the beautiful Pavonine Shawl shown above describes herself as a “by-the-seat-of-my-pants” spinner. This is the approach I tend to take, and it feels wonderful to read about other accomplished spinners taking a more organic, relaxed approach to the craft. In her introduction to the piece, Honig describes her experience trying a bobbin-led wheel for the first time and how it compares to how other wheels feel.
Another cool segment in this issue was about identifying those mystery wools spinners always find in their stashes. I myself have been sorting through a very dirty bag of wool that looks a lot like the stuff shown above – it came to me in an unmarked garbage bag, and I couldn’t begin to tell you what it is. With a few photos for examples, and characteristics to look for which will help you narrow it down, this article contains a lot of useful information.
Speaking of information, there is also a feature in this issue about the Aurora Colony Handspinners Guild in Aurora, Oregon. This guild strives to share the craft and history of spinning with the community around them. With classes and events happening year-round, one highlight is the Aurora Colony Handspinning Guild’s Antique Spinning Wheel Showcase. Here, you can catch of a glimpse of antique wheels from all over the world – in a curated historic setting, outfits and all. By the way… If you’re part of a Guild, be it spinning, weaving, knitting, or a little of everything, check out the Halcyon Yarn Guild Rewards Program, and earn money for your guild when you shop with us!
I always look forward to the next issue of PLY, and this season’s does not disappoint. With history, anecdotes, techniques and tips on just about every page, this magazine always makes me want to go home and spin. If you’re a handspinner looking for a bit of encouragement and lots of useful information, I recommend picking up a copy today!
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