Friday, March 25, 2011

Morgause: My Haldane Orkney

I received an email this morning from a fellow Haldane Orkney owner who had seen photos of my wheel and asked if I had written any articles about it. Well, I haven't, but saw this as the perfect opportunity, especially since I was probably going to write a lengthy reply! :o)

This is Morgause, named for Morgause of Orkney in Arthurian Legend. I received her for Christmas from my dad and stepmom. With the help of a Google search, I figured out how to step up the single drive, Scotch tension with this diagram. Its not for the Orkney, but worked. Within an hour, I was spinning alpaca, albeit awkwardly, that night. I will say, if I hadn't setup and spun successfully on another wheel (Babe Fiber Starter), I wouldn't have figured it out in one evening.

When I got home and after Christmas settled down, I sat down to get the feel of this wheel. I joined the Haldane Fanciers group on Ravelry, and that has been pretty helpful.

Problems and Solutions:
Problem #1) When I would spin, it felt like my wheel would slow down or stop at top center.
Solution) Weight the wheel so it wouldn't lose momentum when it reached top-center. Pictured is my weight solution. Just top right and top left of the center spoke I have attached adjustable ring-bases found in Hobby Lobby's jewelry findings aisle. So I could switch sides, depending on which way I am spinning (s or z twist), I've made removable weights from more findings from Hobby Lobby and lead fishing weights from Walmart.

Problem #2) No orifice hook!
Solution) I looked up some fancy orifice hooks on Etsy and Artfire to see what I liked. I then dug in my craft stash for something that would work. I found some fancy large gauge wire and shaped it to work. Of course, I had to make it pretty, so I picked up more jewelry goodies and beads from Michael's (on sale and with coupons, of course!). I made mine on a chain so I could keep it all together and pretty for when my wheel wasn't in use, but on display in the living room.

Problem #3) Where the heck do I find more bobbins?!?!
Solution) Since Haldane doesn't make wheels anymore AND they are even harder to find in the USA, I was a little disappointed that I couldn't find replacement bobbins. That is until I came across ONE post, deep into a Google search saying that someone *thought* they had seen someone else use modified Ashford bobbins on an Orkney. Not much to go on, right? I figured, what the hell. I found a fabulous Texas seller on Etsy that had a listing for 3 Ashford Single Drive Bobbins for $30. I figured for that price, it was worth a try. If it didn't work, I could always sell or trade the remaining unmodified bobbins to make some of my money back. When the bobbins arrived, I immediately tried them on Morgause. They fit the flyer shaft with no problems, but the smaller end rubbed the flyer. No Problemo! I pulled out my fabulous Dremel and started sanding it until it resembled my Orkney bobbin. With some fine-tuning, I had three more bobbins that worked with my wheel! HAPPY DANCE!

With the above mods/enhancements I can now spin easily on my Haldane Orkney. It makes fine singles, as opposed to the Babe Fiber Starter's more bulky single. One thing I did pick up as a 'just in case' item was a spinning wheel maintenance kit. I would hate to start spinning, have something happen, and then not be able to spin until I go buy something or track something simple down at a store completely across town.

Since there is very limited information on the interwebz about this wheel, I really hope this helps anyone that might have the same problems that I have had.


WIHH aka Susan said...

Thank you! I love the "spinning wheel jewelry" you created for your Orkney in the way of the weights and the orifice hook -how cool is that?!?!? Thanks so much for the info about modifying bobbins as well. I am SO glad I googled you!

Pika said...

Glad I could help!