Dec 1

This past Saturday, Starstruck Cat Studio had a Spin-In from 10-4.  I was there the whole day and what a great, fun day it was!

Soon after getting there and set up, a new, beginner student brought in a wheel she bought from a yard sale along with several other items (cards, flax, silk, etc) for $70.

Fricke wheel front

Here is the wheel from the front.

Fricke wheel side

And here it is from the side.  The wheel needs some work – for one, the wood is very dry, so I suggested getting some tung oil and giving it several coats after giving it a thorough cleaning with some Murphy’s Oil Soap.

Then the student showed me the label and I have to admit, I squealed with delight.  Why?

Frick label

This is the very first Fricke wheel I have ever seen.  I’ve heard about them, heard that they are great workhorse wheels and that they are hard to find.  I looked at their website and this wheel is old enough to not be sold any longer, but what a find!!!  I think this wheel, as-is, could be worth $400 and with some cleaning and oiling, she will have a gem of a wheel to last her for many happy years of spinning.  Even as-is, the treadling was so smooth and easy.  One of her daughters (who looked to be about 10 or 11) was already telling her that she wanted the wheel when her mom died ( we all laughed at that).  Oh, yes, I will be teaching her two daughters to spin starting on drop spindles as well.  Woohoo!!!!!!!!!

One of my advanced students, Pat, brought in her finished yarn and the beginning of the shawl is it to become.

Pat's shawl begins

Isn’t that lovely?  It’s so soft and skooshy, too.  I just love the color.  This third is Navajo plied and the other two cakes are 3-plied.

3 wheels all in a row

Pat let Heather try out her Matchless wheel, and Heather really liked the double treadle.  The Ashford in the foreground is Heather’s wheel.  Also, I have the feeling a Woolee Winder is in Heather’s future.

BFL Butterscotch Long Draw

Heather won this BLF batt in our Butterscotch colorway from YARNO this past summer, and she is spinning it long-draw for a hat.  I think it is beautiful!

hand knit socks

And Pat, Heather and I decided to get a shot of our hand-knit socks before the end of the day.  Pat’s are on the left, mine are at the bottom and Heather’s mis-matched ones are at the top.  Heather had been teaching a knit-two-at-once class and had the socks in different colors to make the class easier to understand.  So…  🙂

I came so close to spinning the rest of the Raspberry Ice 80% Merino/20% silk that I started over a year ago while I was there.  In fact, it only took me about half an hour once I got home to finish spinning the last bobbin of singles.  Then I started plying the two bobbins together.


When I went to bed, I had this done.

I had a slight issue with plying at first.  I could not find my lazy kate.  I still need to do some organizing on my studio, and with all of the searching I did, I decided I needed to come up with an alternative so I could get the plying done while I had the time.  So, what could I do?

Lazy Kate Alternative

Extra-long, straight knitting needles sure come in handy.  I just stacked my full bobbins, used the top hand as a break, and plied away.  And, you know, it worked very well.


This is my two-ply yarn.  I am very pleased with how it turned out.  I ended up with 9.5 ounces of this yarn, which means the 1/2 pound of fiber was actually closer to 10 ounces when I began.  There was some veg to be pulled out (but very little actually).  It spun up so easily.  I have more of this in a different color that I think will have to be spun up as soon as I finish the other two spinning projects I am in the middle of – time to clean off some bobbins!!!

I think we need to do these Spin-Ins once a month.  Susan?  😉


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