Sunday, January 28, 2018

Joy, joy, said Mrs. Malloy

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was in the market for a portable spinning wheel. I went down to my neighborhood enabler spinning shop and tried out both the Ashford Joy2 and the Kromski Minstrel, both double treadle. I would have been happy with either as far as "feel" goes, but I decided to stick with the Ashford because 1) it seemed simpler to assemble/disassemble, 2) the bobbins from my Kiwi2 fit it so I wouldn't need to buy separate ones, 3) the design is more familiar.

The package includes a carrying case, a threading hook (which has its own hole in the frame), three bobbins, and some sample fiber as well as spinning instructions.

The wheel comes finished and (mostly) assembled. The only thing I had to do was fiddle with the flyer and Scotch tension.

Folded, the wheel takes up very little space. The flyer fits into the middle of it all, nestling into that opening.

Here we are, all ready to go. I did spin the two fiber samples, then plied them together, just to try the wheel out. (I forgot to take photos, though.)

One difference between the Kiwi2 and the Joy2 is the number of ratios. The Kiwi2 has two: 5.57:1 and 7.25:1. The Joy2 has four: 6, 8, 12, 14 to 1. I have never played around with the different ratios, but my understanding is the higher ratios are for finer fibers. At the angora spinning workshop, I had trouble getting enough twist into the fiber; maybe this wheel is the solution.

When I purchased my first wheel, I never imagined I would want to haul it around. Now that I am doing just that and now that I understand more about spinning, if I could have only one wheel, I would go with the Joy2 over the Kiwi2.

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