Jan 2 spins alpaca. Why wouldn’t she? She has an alpaca farm. She often does some very fine knitting and so her yarn is frequently spun finely for that purpose. On Monday she brought along her Australian made Inwood Smith electric spinner which was eye catching. It sits the opposite way from most spinners and takes up very little room lengthwise and the battery pack is small. They haven’t been made since 2015 and so now it is hard to get parts unless you use somewhere like Wooldancer. That site has the complete spinner featured with its sidewings for plying. Jan said she found that a bit annoying and that they could get in the way. The rest of the spinner is very well thought out and designed and is clearly labelled so you know what the parts do. The electrical jacks are placed neatly too so the wires are easy to manage. It is a pity they are no longer made since they offer something different again in electric spinners and some people might feel more comfortable with the layout.
Christine brought along her Electric Eel wheel mini to show us on Monday. It could sit on an A5 piece of paper, that’s how compact it is. It had us all interested because it is light, tiny and could go anywhere. It spins properly and is just so cute! You could seriously use it if you have very limited space but it would also pack in a bag and go anywhere. Then there is the novelty appeal. Have one because you can. There is a strong Ravelry community for this wheel and all the people are very enthusiastic. It’s about creativity and innovation. There is a kickstarter for the second version of the mini wheel which has far exceeded expectation and so Maurice Ribble has included stretch goals now to improve on this offering. It is good to see people encouraging others to be productive and creative and all in the name of yarn!
You never know what people will be spinning. Sometimes you watch them spinning for weeks and then you finally discover what the yarn is going to make. It’s always a journey of colour, contrast, ideas and project planning.
Top right is Alexis’ wool batts which are spinning up in an interesting way. Seeing the skein of yarn is going to be good. Next are Marjorie’s natural coloured wool batts made from washed and carded fleece. Then Karin is spinning Alexis’ Tasmanian Blue Gum wool batts which we all love. It’s the colour ! Marina has been spinning light blue acrylic tops and from the first lot she has made a lovely market bag. Meryl is spinning the beautiful First Editions merino and silk batt and Hilary has her interesting metallic looking yarn which is so unusual and such a beautiful colour. All those colours inspire us as we look at them and all the yarn is used. There can never be enough yarn!
Hilary was just a little bit excited because she now has a new Ashford e-spinner. It’s the one Jan said she would get if her current electric spinner ever gave out on her. Hilary was spinning with it so well and we were all excited for her and very enthusiastic because the Ashford e-spinner has a lot to recommend it. We could see how compact it was. Given that Hilary travels a lot it is handy to have. It comes with its own sturdy case and in the case is everything Hilary needs to be able to spin in comfort and peace. It has a foot peddle and a lazy kate. It has plenty of bobbins. It works silently. Hilary was looking very comfortable as she was spinning but she said she’d had to put in a lot of practice to get herself to the stage where she could spin as well as she did on her manual wheel. You can find out about the e-spinner on the Ashford Australia site. We haven’t quite come around as Australians to calling Ashford Aunt Jenny as they want us to. It’s Ashford 🙂 Quite a few members of the group use electric or electronic spinners. Their real advantage is they take up so little space and so are highly portable.