You'd think I'd finish that with something about being aroused for an educational professional. I tricked you. Instead, the badness I refer to is wheel lust. Hello, my name is Heather, and I'm a spinning addict.
Rhinebeck's on my mind, even though I have two major weekends between now and then. I just can't get the scene out of my mind: the crispness to the morning air, the vendors, the random alpacas strolling by in scarves, the bunnies, and the people. It really is among the happiest places on earth. And that's why I wanted to go this year, not because I had some list on the side or an urge to wait in line for one of the prize-winning fleeces or even to buy anything (except wine and cheese and pie to keep the Pieman from running after Our Lady of Boog).
Except, in the last two days, I've suddenly developed the notion, nay the desire to acquire a third wheel. And this third wheel would be something completely different than the other two (not a stretch to accomplish at all). I want something portable, more portable than my Fricke. And I want something that's less than $300. I want something cute and easy to use and compact. So, I've narrowed it down to two possibilities: a Charkha spinning wheel or a HitchHiker.
I know, I know. I really shouldn't compare apples to oranges. And, I should be wholly honest with myself (and you) and just say that I probably also just listed one of those as my potential fourth wheel. So, the question becomes, which do I need more at this time? I'd love to spin on a 100:1 ratio - that would be CRAZY, I bet. But, I don't often spin cotton and other short stapled fibers. Still, how Zen'ed out would I be, sitting somewhere with my little book Charkha, and making fine, fine thread. I suppose I could really go nutso-like and make my Mom custom embroidery cottons... Drawbacks - I'm not familiar with the Charkha, I don't know anyone that has one, and it's hand-cranked as opposed to treadled.
Then, there's the HitchHiker. Where the Charkha is refined, the HitchHiker wins for cuteness - foot-shaped treadle, hitchhiker cut-out handle, and teeny! The ratios aren't great in terms of range, but it's nothing a little fiber prep can't handle. I can see myself taking the HH many more places than the Charkha if only because it would allow me to do the kind of spinning I'm most used to right now.
Have any of your tried either of these wheels? What's your opinion? Have another recommendation for something inexpensive and portable?