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A tale of two Scandinavians

Two Scandinavians walk into a [insert non-racist joke here, because I can't think of one].

This Sheridan wheel is another one owned by Canberra Spinners and Weavers. It's been sitting in a back room with the leather connector between the footman and the treadle had broken, making it wheel unusable. But I had some spare leather and some spare time, so why not give it a make over?

This is a Sheridan Scandinavian, made in Victoria between 1969 and 1985. This wheel sadly has lost its badging due to a previous clean with alcohol, probably. But it's otherwise in good condition. Just needs some moisturising and cleaning.

While I was working on this wheel at Canberra Spinners and Weavers I was chatting with a another member Elizabeth. She later asked if I could tinker with her Sheridan Scandanavian, which was a little sluggish and tricky to spin on. I was happy to see what I could do to make the wheel a bit happier.

First thing I did was take the wheel off so I could give everything a good clean.

Once clean all the metal parts that were in contact with others got a good coating of Ezy Glide. This is like WD40 but it's silicone based instead of oil based and safe to use on almost anything. I use it on the wooden wheels of my Saori 4 shaft loom to stop is squeaking when I change shafts. And I use it on the tracks of the sliding doors in my house. And and on the trigger on the garden hose gun. It's very useful!

The next big change was to switch out the drive and brake bands. I replaced the current drive band, a kinda nylony band, with some basic crochet cotton. The cotton is a bit rougher and should have less stretch and more grip, making the wheel easier to turn. The current drive band is nylon fishing line, which I switched out for crochet cotton again. It's a bit contradictory to switch from nylon to cotton for the brake band, because nylon has less grip and you don't want too much braking of your bobbin.

But with the nylon brake band I felt that there was either slightly too little or slightly too much breaking, while with the cotton there was just enough. But I've kept both the original nylon bands intact, so Elizabeth can switch back if she wants to. There's so many moving parts (figuratively and literally) when it comes to spinning - the fibre you're spinning, the type of drafting technique and even which bobbin you're using may all affect how the wheel works and might need you to switch up bands.

Spinning is such an organic thing. Everything from the humidity to the tempo of the music you're listening to can change how we make yarn, sometimes even without realising it.

It's been nice to tinker with these wheels and get them running as well as they can, even if they do squeak and grumble a bit.

And a quick update on Wee Maggie... she sold! Maggie is now home with her new owner and hopefully making some fantastic yarn. :D

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