A few readers may remember my HitchHiker spinning wheel, that I imported to the UK several years ago, and hand painted....

 

 

Well the time has come to sell this wheel. I still love it and if we had all the space and money in the world, I would keep it. But we don't. And I have only spun 100g of fibre on her since I was pregnant with Aran, and he was 7 in March - this wheel really needs to belong to someone who will use her and love her, not keep her stored away in a bag! Last year I was lucky enough to get myself a Louet Hatbox wheel (which I took all the photos for but failed to blog about) and I've done more spinning on that than the Hitch - someone who spins as little as I do these days can't justify two wheels.

 

So yesterday we dusted her down, gave her a mini service and took lots and lots of photos. I've really no idea what to ask for her, as these don't come up 2nd hand very often, especially in the UK and Europe, and especially one with so much decoration. Shipping these over from the US isn't cheap and the import duty adds a hefty sum, and that's all been taken care of - this wheel was the first HitchHiker to come to the UK! After a lot of thought, I'd like to ask £250 plus shipping, and will list the wheel on eBay later today. I'd be more than happy to see her go to someone I know, so if you're interested send me a message!

 

 

Over the years I've had a lot of questions about the wheel, and Dave at Merlin Tree has developed quite a following, and there's a tonne of information now online. If you Google for the HitchHiker wheel there are many videos, demonstrating how the wheel works and it's own special charm, and there's an active group on Ravelry, too. Dave is incredibly helpful and hand makes all of these wheels!

I've always said that spinning on a hitchHiker is akin to driving a vintage car - it has character. It isn't as smooth as my Louet straight out of the box, but given a short learning curve you'll soon learn her quirks and what she needs to spin well. The wheel is quite capable of spinning all sorts, you'll just need to know what adjustments to make (hence the link to the forum and using YouTube)

 

 

I took rather a lot of photos yesterday, so here goes....

 

 

The standard flyer on the new wheels is slightly different to this one - this flyer is (I believe) from an Ashford, and there are 4 standard bobbins to go with it.  


 

The only real damage to the paintwork is on the back of the wheel, where the whorl runs. This is to be expected really - the wood was primed and painted in acrylic and then varnished, but wear will show eventually. It's very easy to touch up - the background to the paintwork isn't a flat colour, and the writing is simply done with a permanent silver marker!

 

 

The writing on the front of the wheel spirals, and is a description of the spinning process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone remember all the handspun yarns I used to sell? Well they were all spun on this wheel, and on this flyer. At the time there wasn't a jumbo flyer to go with the Hitch, so I made do. Since then, Dave developed a jumbo flyer, for which I was a tester, and that jumbo flyer with two jumbo bobbins is also included.

 

 

 

 

And there you have it! She's a beauty, isn't she? And rare. I'm open to offers but I can't afford to let her go too cheaply. If she doesn't sell for the right price I'd sooner hold onto her until we can find her the right home.

I'm still looking into courier options and shipping charges, and I don't see why shipping to mainland Europe would be a problem. I will also look into worldwide shipping, and if anyone interested uses a regular courier, I'm open to suggestions.

Once the eBay link is live, I'll link here. In the meantime, if you can help spread the word it'd be muchly appreciated!

(I'm feeling a little sad and nostalgic as I press the 'publish' button on this post... whoever owns her next, please look after her? Ta :)

eta/ I've found the original blog posts about the painting of my HitchHiker!

/blog/2006/6/28/its-arrived-its-arrived.html

/blog/2006/7/5/primming-and-flyer-indentification.html

/blog/2006/7/9/all-dressed-up-and-ready-to-go.html

(for the 'Spinning' tag below for more posts featuring this wheel and the yarns it created)

 

eta2/ the wheel is now listed on eBay!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121732745050

 

eta3/ the wheel has sold already! Wow! Thanks again for your support :)

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesSpinning

This past weekend I took sunday afternoon off, and spent my time spinning up the yarn for my very own Camden Cap.

 

 

If you look closely, you may notice that it's not the best bit of spinning ever. It's awful, really. Full of lumps and inconsistencies and it's pretty obvious that I'm out of practice, and perhaps also feeling a little stressed about actually finishing it. Yet when plied, it looks much better. Far from perfect, but certainly knittable. The overall tonal effect, the mixing of the various colours and fibres, is exactly what I was aiming for, which pleases me muchly.

 

I've been trying to remind myself that this project is not about being perfect. I'm wanting to let go of the perfectionsim I apply to my normal fibery work, as this Hat will be for me and no-one else. But it's hard to not notice the faults.

If I'm honest, I haven't enjoyed spinning this as much as I think I should. It's no fault of the batt, which was lovely to work with, but, I think, down to the fact that the pressure is on. And I realised why I felt like that. Because as much as I'm saying this is about the spinning and a chance to relax some, it's really about making myself a Hat. A great Hat that will fit me and that I'll wear. It's become about the product, not the process, and that's where the stress is coming from; I'm totally not a product person.

Funny what a change in perspective can do, huh?

All that said, I do love the colours of the yarn, and it will knit up not too far from gauge, and it will make me a loverly Camden Cap. It's all ready to cast on and I hope to get it on the needles in the next few days. My plan is take some photos of the how the Brim is constructed for a blog post, as one or two members of the KAL have been a little unsure, and I'd like to offer some help.

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In other news: some visitors may have noticed that this website has been a bit wonky this week. A transfer for my main domain was all set yet for some reason, it kicked in a day early, and I was unprepared for that. It didn't take long to straighten out, and the internets should all be caught up now (it can take 24hrs+ for things to filter through).

Of course when a domain is transferred, so is the domain email, and that only got straightened out yesterday. Now that that's done I've been tackling my inbox, but there's still a fair few waiting for replies. I apologise for any problems or delays encountered, and hope to have gotten back to everyone before the coming weekend.

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
5 CommentsPost a comment

I'm spinning!

 

 

This is a gorgeous batt from Hilltop Cloud which I'm (slowly) spinning up so I can knit my own Camden Cap and join in the KAL over in the Ravelry group. It's a blend of 50% BFL, 20% Welsh Mountain Black wool, 20% Bamboo & 10% Recycled Bottle fibre. The colours are spot on for what I wanted; the point of this project is to make *me* something I will actually *wear*.

 

 

So, I dusted down my Hitch-hiker and had a wee practice spin. It's been a few years since I've spun anything and I'm more than a little rusty. But hey, this isn't about perfection, right?

 

 

And this is it so far. I haven't spun a great deal yet, only about 1/6th of the 105g of fibre. It's too tempting to sit and spin all day and there's a mountain of work to be done, so I'm squeezing in a bit of spinning here and there as time permits. The plan is to not only get a lovely yarn with which to knit my Hat, but also to have something that doesn't need to be perfect or meet a deadline or demand anything other doing something for the sake of it.

I'm loving it so far, lumps and all.

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
4 CommentsPost a comment

I've been spinning!

Oh yes indeedy, Hitch came out and had a dusting down, and has seen her first action in 3 yrs.

Here we have 95m, 60g of a merino blend yarn. The pink/red mix is some hand dyed fibre that Knitting On The Green gifted me 4 or 5 years ago (she dyed it herself) and the blue/green is either BFL or Falkland Merino cross that I hand dyed some time way back when.

There was no planning involved - I simply grabbed two lovely lumps of fibre and started spinning. There were some long lengths and some not so long lengths of each colour, so I had an inkling how they would blend when plied and that there might be some self stripping going on.

There's a few lumps and bumps - I'm a little out of practice but that's cool. Perfection wasn't the aim, spinning for the sheer pleasure of was.

Though I have to say I kinda got a little bored towards the end of spinning the singles, and it kinda reminded me why I stopped selling my handspun and spinning so much... I love it but only in small doses, the patience to do it too often isn't there. Especially with a toddler around who is far too curious about this strange wheel that isn't attached to a truck.

Being as I'd already thrown caution to the wind with the lack of planning, I wound the yarn without setting the spin and started knitting. Tri-Peak was chosen, as that seemed the ideal pattern for handspun in limited supply. The yarn gave me almost perfect chunky gauge at 16sts to 10cm/4" so 78 sts were cast on and I knit round and round until the yarn ran out. The crown was finished with a crochet bind-off, my fave method for this type of Hat.

It does make me look like a hippy, especially with the sun kissed skin and wayward hair (which still hasn't calmed down since my dreads were cut off. I hate it at this stage and it's making me miss my dreads but we won't go there). Not that there's anything wrong with hippies.

I'm pleased with it, it's been fun to make. And it will be worn - having short hair once again means I get to wear many more Hats!

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
3 CommentsPost a comment

This time I'm listing mostly fibres, and one special skein of yarn. Shall I mention that one first?

The skein of Wollmeise sock yarn (100% merino superwash) that I bought from the store but was a bit undecided. I do love the colours, they work well together, but I just can't see me using it. Sock yarn isn't my favourite yarn weight and there's very little of it in my stash, so it's up for grabs!

150g, 574yds of yummy hand-dyed goodiness.

The next listings are all fibres; there's some Wensleydale roving (500g, undyed), luscious undyed Kid Mohair locks (330g & 333g), 650g Shetland, 515g BFL and 2 lots of a BFL cross (610g & 660g) (sorry, I can't remember what breed the BFL is crossed with)

Apart from the roving, all the fibres are from the fleece, sorted and cleaned myself. They will need carding or combing (and of course dyeing!)

Hopefully these links will work, though it's been some time since I used Ebay! My user ID is woolly_wormhead, so if these don't work track me down ;) I've only just listed them, and they take some time to show up in searches - they all have a 5-day listing so they'll still be there tomorrow!

Wollmeise sock yarn

Wensleydale roving

Blue Faced Leicester

BFLx 610g & 660g

Shetland

Kid Mohair locks 330g & 333g

Shifting this lot should free up some space in the bus! And now my internet quota for the day is all used up :(

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesSpinning