My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


The Third Wheel

Rob asked a very good question:
I am about to dive headfirst into spinning, and am already drooling over wheels. I think the friend who is going to give me my first wheel lesson this weekend has hopes of selling me a wheel, but I am also doing a lot of window shopping. So, a question — why buy the baby? Do the three wheels I see in the picture do very different things?

A very good question indeed!

Katarina, my Kromski Minstrel, was my first wheel. I learned wheel spinning on her and love her. In a fever of obsessive-compulsiveness, I bought my second wheel, Lenny the Lendrum, a month later. Lenny spins like a dream: smooth and quiet. But I discovered that I prefer plying with Katarina, so I have been spinning singles on Lenny and plying them on Katarina.

Lenny is a folding wheel and came with a nifty carrying case. So when I went to the Knitters Review Retreat at the beginning of this month, I folded Lenny, put him in his case, and took him to the retreat. And took him home again. And did a number on my back schlepping Lenny to and fro and fro and to. He’s sort of on the heavy side (at least to a delicate flower like me) but I think it’s more his size than his weight that I found awkward to deal with. Like Eric Cartman, he’s not fat, he’s big-boned.

So I ordered the baby wheel. Much smaller and more compact. Because she is more portable, I’ll be more inclined to take her places with me.

While she’s my third wheel, she’s not a third wheel. If you know what I mean. Get it? Get it?

Actual Knitting Content

I sucked it up and actually did some knitting on Mermaid. I finished the body!

Here’s work on the i-cord edging:


Because Lucy elected to supervise from a distance:


Instead of up close and personal, as usual, I finished the i-cord edging. Wheeee!


Now I just gotta get those sleeves done.

The weather forecasters predict that it will be 30 degrees colder tomorrow. Dare I hope?


  1. Wendy, dare to hope! I live in SW Ohio, and that cold front swept through here last night (lots of wind, but no tornados, thank you Lord), and by this afternoon at 2:00 it was about 33 degrees. And also? Flurries.

    Mermaid looks beautiful! (so does Lucy!) ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Just beautiful!

  3. HeeHee. Third Wheel – aren’t you clever. Mermaid is looking great. I can’t wait to see the sleeves.

  4. Here’s a blog link re spinning wheels, including Majacraft.

  5. Hi Wendy,

    I love your selections of wheels-each has a unique charm. In all my years of spinning-I have been a one wheel woman (a lendrum). But lately I have had a roving (heh heh) eye. Might I cheat on my first love and treadle over to a majacraft Rose? Perhaps-or maybe the Saxony-I heart Majacraft!! I admit it, I am in a mid-life crisis. What is a girl to do?

  6. Oh, it’ll be 30 degrees cooler all right! I’m near Pittsburgh and it was 72 at midnight and 45 by 8:30 AM. 38 right now! It’s knitten wearin’ season!

  7. Thanks for the brief wheel tutorial but I’m a bit confused sooo….I have a dumb question. I don’t spin (although I dream of spinning one day) which may be obvious in a second. Can you do everything you want to do spinning wise with just one wheel or do you need different wheels for plying, etc?

  8. I love portability, too! Especially small useful items I can cram into my bag and all my pockets, without splitting the seams, of course.
    Lucy fits right in with her friends on the chair!

  9. I love my one and only wheel, the Ashford Traveller. I hemmed and hawed for a long time before selecting it. It has quite a few neat features, like double treadle and double drive, built-in lazy kate, and it’s portable as well. Of course I’d love to have more wheels, but they’re like tattoos… before you know it, you have too many, so I’ve drawn the line at one of each (wheel and tattoo).

  10. You made a reference to Eric Cartman…I love you. South Park and knitting….my reasons to live.

  11. I think I bought my Ashford Traveller around the same time you bought your Kromski, and from the same wonderful folks at Copper Moose. I love my wheel, but I haven’t been spinning as much lately, and I need to get back to it. I keep contemplating the purchase of another wheel, but resisting so far. So just be quiet, would you? I’m a damned lemming, and you’ll push me over the edge!

  12. Just noticed the big # on the side bar. I even right clicked it to see if there were any hints in the picture properties! What IS it???!!!!

  13. After carrying my Kromski Minstrel to the retreat I wtarted thinking about a traveling wheel too. And then I thought about Christmas travel and I’ll be away from my wheel for almost 2 weeks.

    So..I want a traveling wheel that can really travel. How portable is the Gem? Can she be a carryon or would she need to be checked? I’m also thinking about the Ashford Joy.

  14. Yup, we here in beautiful but snowy and cold and windy West Michigan are happily planning to share our snow and cold and wind with y’all out East. Should be arriving soon! Enjoy! Kristine should be very happy because it’s WONDERFUL sittin’ by the fire with a cat on your lap knitting weather!

  15. I too have a little baby Majacraft just like that! Tip: in her case, she fits into a hard-sided Samsonite clamshell suitcase so you can check it through as luggage! No more wrestling into overhead bins! Plus, (a big PLUS) plenty of room for fiber in the suitcase. Handy for when you visit relatives, what with the holiday season upon us. She’s been lots of places with me.

  16. i’ve caught the spinning bug. and i haven’t even had my first lesson yet!
    i hope to cover these topics when i take my workshop — it’s a weekend workshop, and includes playing with the sheep!
    i have a fear of wanting many wheels.
    after attending the vermont sheep & wool festival,i told myself “i MUST learn how to spin all the yarns i covet!”. so, i will learn …..

  17. Thank you for giving more information on your wheels, and why you have 3. I’m taking my first spinning class in January and have been wondering why people have more then one wheel. Of course I’m trying to be good and sitting on my hands to not order a wheel before my class, or tons of roving.

  18. Jac Lynn in Mississippi says:

    RE: “What is this”
    It’s the ISBN number for your book! Congratulations. I am looking forward to adding it to my collection.
    Much Success!

  19. I hope you’re not going to let Lenny go! There’s a plying head available for Lendrums, which uses a bigger bobbin too, Wendy. (You’ve probably looked into that already)

  20. Oh nooooooo I’m being sucked into the “SPINNING VORTEX”— I just snagged an Ashford Traveller @ e-bay—- shipping from New Zealand—- will be a week before it arrives—stalking blogs for “real time” spinning help—- ๐Ÿ˜‰


    Wendy- you keep us on our toes— and inspire us to more- though -I have to admit- I like Gemma – better;)