My birthday rolled around about a week and a half ago (it was a multiple of 3 and that's all I'm saying) and I finally gave in and did something I've been dreaming about for a couple of years now.
That's right. I bought a Matchless and I am in love. I first spun on one of these a few years ago when Mr. Tinks and Frogs and I had the opportunity to go to TNNA. That wheel was perfectly balanced and spun like a dream. About a year and a half later I was in the market for a new wheel and we went out to the spinning store about an hour and a half outside the city to see about bringing one home.
The shop had a Matchless set up but it was definitely a floor sample and something was off since it was awkward to spin. My disappointment with the wheel itself combined with some less than stellar customer service (I've gotten the impression that I'm about a generation too young to be taken seriously at this particular establishment) sent us away empty handed. You probably know that burning hole in your wallet when you're all set to make a big purchase and it just doesn't pan out. Well, this particular burning hole turned into several skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca from my LYS that became this. So it wasn't all bad.
Fast forward to this spring when I finally decided it was time to start looking for a new wheel again. I was going back and forth between the Schacht and a Lendrum wheel and read just about every review I could get my hands on. We thought about heading off to the spinning shop so I could try a Lendrum but a certain someone's extra-long morning nap (not to mention the fact that we also wanted to go out for a birthday brunch) got in the way of that plan. I was actually rather pleased with this since I was hesitant to spend so much money at a shop where I never really felt welcome. After researching the wheels a bit more, I settled on the Matchless and went hunting for a good deal online. I had a great experience purchasing from the Copper Moose in Vermont and would highly recommend them if you're looking for spinning equipment.
Enough with the chatter. I'll bet you're really interested in what I'm actually doing with the wheel, not how I got it. My sister sent me a beautiful braid of BFL/silk top that seemed like the perfect fiber to use when breaking in the wheel.
Gorgeous, isn't it? That's 5.8 ounces in the colorway Wood Gnomes from the Portland (Maine) Fiber Gallery and Weaving Studio. You can see their fiber here. Shoot, I really shouldn't have clicked on that link. Stash diet, stash diet, stash diet.
I know I need a little distraction right now before I remember that I've got my credit card number memorized. So here is what the fiber looks like spun up:
This wheel just spins like a dream. It's amazing what a difference there is when comparing it to my first wheel (a very solid Ashford Traveller). When I sit down and start spinning, I feel like the wheel will help me make whatever yarn I want and that's a lovely thing.
Tadpole even likes it, too.
Thank goodness she's not big enough yet to want her own time on the wheel. And no, I'm not actually spinning there. We're just petting the fiber. But we all agree that that wheel is a great addition to the household.
And there will be more fiber pr0n coming up, too. My mother sent me a spectacular selection of fibers from Briar Rose that I'm planning on spinning for the Tour de Fleece. I've got to start training!