Okay, so the most accurate statement is one of my searches is over. The Knight is back to insisting I’d be happiest with a sedan, but that’s another story…
The Bellus on the right with its new sister
I was bound and determined to buy a new wheel yesterday, whether we bonded or not. I was tired of shopping and not sitting down to that magical feeling that THIS is THE wheel, and I was becoming distracted by the weaknesses in my stalwart little Bellus. Anita sweetly assured me she had a good feeling about my shopping agenda, and while I am often oblivious to my own intuition, I honor everyone else’s. With all of that going for me, I headed to Stony Mountain Fibers with my mad money in hand.
Does she look familiar? She should. I had a feeling it was fortuitous to get to spin on the Majacraft Aura before her North American debut, but it wasn’t love at first sight. I liked her, but I think there were several factors at play that distracted me that day. Nevertheless, yesterday we hit it right off.
Barbara had some great, older pop ‘n rock music playing in the shop. I’ve always loved soundtracks and musicals, but Grease was the first one that I found on my own, so to speak, so it was more than a little ironic that at one point, You’re the One that I Want caught my ear. Maybe I’ll name the new wheel Sandra Dee or Honey.
She’s Majacraft’s Aura. Part of what won me over on this, our second introduction, is that what is now MY wheel was put through her paces at Maryland Sheep & Wool by Glynis, half of the owner/director team for Majacraft. All that was left to do was to figure out which bobbin ratio made everything perfect for me. I was able to spin yarn so fine it was scary, which might also read that as soon as I was comfortable with this beauty, she gladly produced a single that would be a fine laceweight when plied.
I learned to spin on a Fricke S-160 DT, so I suppose it’s natural for me to prefer a delta orifice. (The place on the right where the yarn meets the wheel, if any non-spinners are following along.) A true delta orifice lacks that curlycue in the front, which Majacraft sweetly calls the halo ring. Rightly so, because this wheel is heaven-sent.
See that white cord? That’s unique on a Majacraft wheel, and simply put, it is double drive in a fashion we can all understand. I’ve linked to the Mechanics page that came with my wheel, because there’s no way I can explain it better than they do. Dear Barbara read it to me while I was spinning, and helped me figure out what fine adjustments were needed to make this wheel truly my own. No more feeling as though my wheel is snatching the yarn from me!
Just so you know, that pale orange was spun at MDSW, and the bright coral is what I spun at the shop. I’ve since stripped that from the wheel and have some blue Cormo on there. Some of you who know me well will appreciate that I fell in love with a wheel that came home with a bobbin dressed in shades of orange.
That’s specifically for Anita. Top, the huge Aura bamboo (drive wheel and bobbins are bamboo, one of my favorite renewable resources), and bottom, the seemingly limitless Heavenly Handspinning bobbin we love so dearly. I think that while they are shaped very differently, the Aura bobbin will still hold all I care to spin onto it, with the advantage of double drive and its ability to stay the course as a bobbins fills.
I could write for days, but that only takes away from my spinning time. Oh – and the silly Knight wanted to know why I didn’t trade the Siren (aka: Bellus) in. In case anyone else is wondering, here’s a little list of whys:
He is my first wheel.
Anita has his sister or cousin or something, and we’ve plied new layers of friendship in learning to spin together. (Okay, I tempted her into spinning, she learned and then helped me take spinning out of the classroom and into my life.)
I might still want to ply on the Bellus, because plying has always delighted me, and Irish tension plies like nothing else.
It’s a novelty. You can’t walk into your local (or nearest) spinning shop and find one.
At least two of my friends have hinted that Siren can live with them if he needs to relocate.
It is lighter and more forgiving of banging around, should I ever opt to take a wheel to the beach or something.
It’s arguably the best beginner’s wheel out there, because of price and its very simple design. I don’t know that I would have ever figured out all the parts to a wheel had I started with anything fancier.
For the record “everyone” was right. I did sit down with the Aura yesterday and everything clicked. I wasn’t distracted by a single treadle Matchless at a bargain price, and there was no Lendrum that was almost as nice at a much cheaper price. I never even spun on anything else in the shop, and I am quite certain that while I will continue to enjoy trying out other wheels, I’ll walk away shrugging it off because MY wheel and I just fit. There are no extra flyers or different bobbins for lace to buy. If I don’t ply with the Bellus, I’ll need a lazy kate (hint, hint to the Knight for my birthday), and truly, that’s it.
And yes, I paid dearly for that bond and the limitless potential for art yarn, chunky yarn, and other things I might never want to spin. However, the Aura also did what I wanted in my next wheel flawlessly, and that was all that mattered.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go spin.