Thursday, May 13, 2010

More Sheep and Wool!

First of all, before I forget, for anybody living in the DC area, here's some information about the Maryland Faerie Festival, which is happening this weekend. It's not far from DC, and it looks like it'll have some great vendors for anyone looking for something to do this weekend.


On to all the fun from two weekends ago at the Sheep and Wool Festival!

These are the photos that Holly took with the little camera that I'm planning to replace soon.

As you can see, there were a lot of people there. One of my friends said that the parking lot was full when he got there, and they had to park on the other side of 441!

Holly saw the dragons and other assorted felted creatures that I missed, and took a picture of them to prove it!

One of the most interesting shops this year (actually, every year) was Susan's Fiber Shop. Susan brought a lamb along with her to the festival this year. She always has the best stuff, but this year, she had the brand new Majacraft Wheel. This wheel was named Serenity while they were developing it, but it appears to be named Aura now. I don't know why they changed the name. This new wheel was developed with the help of Lexi Boeger (Pluckyfluff shown below) and she was there to demonstrate it.

And what a demonstration it was! She did some amazing things on the wheel. The rest of the photos are mine.

Before she arrived, I took this photo, which shows the Aura from a spinners perspective.

Here's a close up of the handle:

The upright is at a slightly different angle than on the other Majacraft wheels when folded. I didn't actually try folding it, but that's what their website says, and that's what the one I saw looked like.

And here's a close up of the "orifice" which is made to handle yarn that has wildly different diameters as well as yarn that has a more even texture.

The "kink" in the part of the wire closest to the rest of the flyer lets you spin finer yarns without the thumping that you get with a big orifice. I think it's quite ingenious, and watching Lexi use it, it seems to work very well. There was no thumping or unevenness when she used it, and it was quick and easy to change to using the more open part so that it could swallow even big slubs!

Lexi put some yarn out that she'd spun to show what kinds of yarn could be spun on this wheel.

There are some pretty chunky/slubby yarns shown here.

One of the major things that is different about this wheel is that it's a double drive, but very different from any double drive you've ever seen. There are two separate drive bands, and two different tensioning systems, one for each drive band. That way, you can choose the different ratios and different drive strengths for the flyer and bobbin. You can easily change the amount of take up on the bobbin without affecting how the flyer is driven!

You can see the green drive band in the photo, which is for the flyer. It's adjusted almost the same way as the Susie or Rose wheels. Lexi used a small wrench for this rather than the knob that lets you adjust it by hand on other wheels. The additional, new drive band is white, and it drives the bobbin. There is a knob on the right of the support for the flyer and bobbin (marked Bobbin Drive Band Adjustment in the photo) that can be used to change the tension of the band that drives the bobbin, and therefore, the take-up on the wheel.

The flyer is excellent for spinning anything you might want to spin, but it hasn't got very many options for flyer speed, which is why I don't want to trade in my Rose wheel for one of these. I'd love to have an Aura in addition to my Rose, but not in place of it. I spin some finer yarns, and don't want to give up that speed.

Lexi is just starting out here, and is spinning a relatively fine, even singles. That's Susan McFarland behind the yarn that's being formed. You'll see her in some of the other photos.

Here's a slub that's just formed and is spinning so fast that you can hardly see it.

In this photo, Lexi is pulling some of the fiber in her hand toward her left to start to form a fuzzy spot in the singles so that she can attach some other fiber and make a slub.

After she did that, she added some yellow fiber and shoved it toward the orifice to form a big slub.

She stopped for a moment, and I was able to show how she's pulling the fiber to the side. You can also see an already formed slub that's about to go through the orifice, and Susan in the background.

It's a little hard to see here, but she's pulling some fairly ordinary fibers to the left here, along with part of one of those little scrubbie pads with all the shiny silver coils that look like tiny curls. She called it a Brillo pad, but it's not that brand, just a generic scrubber. It looks very glamourous and glitzy in the final yarn as you can see below.

There's just a little of it peeking out, just to the left of the yellow section. Although it looks fabulous, I suspect that it wouldn't feel too good to wear.

Here's another photo of some glitzy yarn as it's being formed into a slub and fed into the orifice.

That's an awful lot of photos for today!

I'm giving up on this post for the day, and I'll show you the swag I got from the festival another day.

Have fun!

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