Tuesday, July 13, 2010

There's a new wheel in town

About 4 or 5 years ago, on the trusted recommendation of my friend Michelle Mueller (more on her in my next posting), I ordered a Jensen D-30 production wheel. It took me a couple of years to take the time to really sit down and bond with it, and once I did, it made all my other wheels pale by comparison. Because Mr. Jensen will make his wheels with the flyer assembly on either the left or right hand side, I was able to order mine with the flyer on the right, to accommodate my left hand draw. Also because of the placement of the treadles and the flyer assembly, I am able to sit comfortably and spin for hours without having to scrunch up or lean over and cause back and neck pain. As much as I love my Kromski Sonata, it turns out I am just too tall for it, and the length of my legs from hip to knee puts the orifice so far away from me, I end up ready for the chiropractor after a long evening of spinning...big bummer, because I love it so.

OK, so much on that stuff. Last year I got all sentimental about Mr. Jensen, and how I would feel if I missed getting another wheel from him before he retires from wheel making, yada yada yada...so I ordered another of his 30" production wheels...this time, the Ashley. It arrived last month and is every bit as gorgeous and dreamy to spin on as the D-30. The original D-30 is back in Taos for Michelle to spin on while I'm in CA, so the timing is perfect...Ashley is living with me, here on the coast. If you are lucky enough to own one of these wheels, you already know what I'm talking about. If you aren't, well...I suggest you give it some serious consideration, especially if you love spinning finer yarns. I bought mine from Lois at Bountiful, my long time source for spinning wheels, carder, and fibers...if you visit with her, please tell her I sent you!


Valerie said...

I've coveted a D-30 for a long time. Which do you prefer...the Ashley or the D-30 and why?

Taos Sunflower said...

Hi Valerie: I haven't used the Ashley enough to be able to say. However...there is a super neat feature about it. See those bars that run parallel to the wheel on both sides of the wheel? You can adjust those to keep your wheel centered. I think this is an old design from Norway, maybe...but it's an attractive feature, if one wants to consider you might use a wheel long enough to need to keep it balanced in such a way. Let me know if you decide to take the plunge and order one! Martie

seashells said...

Hi Martie, we'll be spinning at Common Treads this Friday (16), hope you can stop by and spend some time!


Taos Sunflower said...

Shelly: I was thinking about spinning today, as I drove to Los Angeles and right smack through Capistrano (which made me think of Lori, and all of you). Unfortunately I can't make it this Friday, I have plans with the family, but don't give up on me...I have a few more months before I go back to NM! :0) Martie

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Martie I just love coming over here. You totally are one of a kind. How long does it take someone that has no knowledge of spinning to learn it. Do you give lessons?
Please do a Blogazine post about you for me everyone would love you as I do.
Your comment about my trip to the pool was too funny.
I am working on a really crazy post now and it may be too crazy to even post. lol
No word yet on the scan
OH I love love your new Spinning wheel and so happy for you

Sea Mist and Sunsets said...

Hi Martie,
Congratulations! She's a beauty. Looks like Mr. Jensen and fine craftsmanship go hand in hand. Your yarns are always awe-inspiring. Nice to know there are wheels that make that process comfortable for you.

Penni said...

Jealous jealous jealous! But only in the best possible way!

Taos Sunflower said...

Penni: I wish I could share it with you! XOXO

Plinio said...

Hi Martie,

I just ran across your blog and love that you posted your experience with the D-30 and now with the Ashley. I'm a new spinner myself, I learned on an Ashford traveller (I bought it because I wanted to try out spinning first and turns out that I really enjoy it, and I'm feeling ready to step it up and get a bigger wheel. I'm looking for a wheel that will be a go to wheel for almost everything from heavy worsted to fingering (maybe lace). I've looked at the Tina II and was also considering the D-30 (as it is a bigger wheel and more beautiful) and then I could get a lendrum or a hansen mini-spinner if I need a travel wheel in the future. Anyway, what I wanted to ask you is the following: Which wheel do you think would be best for what I'm looking for? What's your experience with running the D-30 in scotch tension (I heard it really only works well in double drive, is that true?
I would really appreciate your answer.
My name on ravelry is Plinio if you prefer to PM on there. Thanks

PS: I totally feel you on the Jensen will retire soon feeling... I want a beautiful handmade wheel and he seems the guy for it.