Saturday, 14 March 2015

Spring Clean - Wheel Clean

For good spinning I have to maintain my spinning wheel, keeping it oiled and clean and in good mechanical condition.
Periodically I treat it to a really good overhaul. So it was time for a spring clean! Placing it on newspaper, taking it apart so as all the working parts are cleaned and properly oiled. These turning parts collect a build up of fibres, dust and dirt from the fleece particularly when I'm working "in the grease" with untreated fleece fresh from shearing. After a session of spinning on the wheel these are cleaned in situ and re- oiled. But it is best to make sure at the end of spinning a chosen fibre to dismantle the wheel's parts and thoroughly clean so it continues to work smoothly.  
Parts to oil;
the axle bearing of the wheel itself
the two bearings on the maiden carrying the spindle
the two bearings which carry the treadle
the leather connection
the spindle on which the bobbin rotates

I like to give the wood of the wheel a lovely clean and polish. I use a product that is a wood soap, this really cleans the wood  taking of any grease and dust. The great thing about this product is that you add it to warm water and wash the spinning wheel leaving it wet. So letting it dry naturally makes light work of the task with no wiping off in tricky hard to get places and it leaves the whole wheel beautifully sweet smelling and polished in one! 
 Now my wheel and I are ready to get started on new fleeces and fibres for the season ahead, it feels good. Spring is here and  I'm looking forward to spinning outdoors again. Spinning to knit or spinning to weave and just enjoying the spinning process too!
Just thought I would add a splash of colour to this post and show you some new cloth straight off my loom. Saori style with spring time colours. This is destined to be made into various hand woven home ware items such as tea cosies.  

I love the cheerful mix of colours in this cloth and plan to cut it on the bias to make some fun and unique designs for the home.