Saturday, December 8, 2007

Pirtle spinning wheel & new projects





Over the past few days, I have been trying some new things. I acquired the Kaffe Fassett Pattern Library book and have been experimenting with learning how to do intarsia work. The intricacy of his design concepts really appeal to my love of color and design. I can see that it will take some experimenting to get the color contrasting and blending together in this knitting medium but in the long run it should be very rewarding. Nothing like swatching to be able to play with technique without a big commitment. Additionally, I have started another vest using the modular techniques I love so well. This one should go together really fast.

Finally, I have taken some photos of a Pirtle spinning wheel so that people can see what they look like. This wheel was built by Paul and Beverly Pirtle(who lived in Huntington Beach, CA in the 1970s.) They only built about 200 wheels and contrary to internet lore the wheel was not built in a hippie commune but in their garage studio. The beauty of this wheel is the fact that it has no hooks and also has a one inch orifice as well as huge bobbins which will hold up to 2.2 lbs of spun yarn. They made two flyers (one high speed for fine spinning and a bulk flyer for really chunky spinning.) In my opinion, they were way ahead of their time in the design of this wheel. Unfortunately, they no longer make wheels and have retired from the spinning and weaving marketplace. In light of all the current art yarn and novelty yarn spinning going on, this is an ideal wheel for the making of these kinds of yarns. I also have their original paperwork including use instructions and catalog on this wheel. So, if you have a wheel and want more info, contact me.

9 comments:

velmalikevelvet said...

hi janice!!

love those polka dots... KF always looks busy to me, but not yours, it's just beautiful.

the wheel looks great! whee! xo, v

ChelleC said...

Your work in intarsia is gorgeous. Can't wait to hear more about your modular vest.

Lisa said...

Love the Fassett swatches! I just took the color class with Brandon, and he told us a little bit about the magic ball classes. The poppy pattern you knitted is the one they use for that workshop. I'm looking forward to experimenting with it myself after the holiday rush.

Saints and Sinners said...

gorgeous work

I have got to get one of those wheels!

velmalikevelvet said...

haha barbe, you can't have it, it's ALL MINE! (bwahahaha)! ;) seriously, though, i can't wait to have it repaired and get spinning on it. cheers, v

Lizardknits said...

Could I get some more info on the Pirtle Wheel? I showed the picture to my hubby, and he thinks he could make me one!
Thanks! Elizabeth H.
lizardknits1 AT gmail DOT com

Fawn said...

Funny thing, My friend decided t revisit the idea of spinning after she adopted two Alpacas. It fired up some interest for me as we both dod a lot of spinning many years ago. I remembered I had a wheel called the Pirtle Wheel. I still have two wheels, I didn't remember which one had that name so I Googled and my wheel showed up. Mine looks exactly like the photo posted and I spun many pounds of yarn back in the 70's when I bought mine. Maybe I'll take it for test drive again after I get it shined up. Fawn

Fawn said...

Funny thing, My friend decided to revisit the idea of spinning after she adopted two Alpacas. It fired up some interest for me as we both did a lot of spinning many years ago. I remembered I had a wheel called the Pirtle Wheel. I still have two wheels, I didn't remember which one had that name so I Googled and my wheel showed up. Mine looks exactly like the photo posted and I spun many pounds of yarn back in the 70's when I bought mine. Maybe I'll take it for test drive again after I get it shined up. I only had one flyer. It made medium to huge chunky. I didn't know it had the capability of spinning finer yarns . I would be interested to find out more about that. Anyone out there that can tell me more , great!
Fawn

sheepsclothing said...

hi Janice-
I just bought what I now know to be a pirtle wheel. Any chance I could get some more info from you
on it?
thanks
Denise Mor