My Majacraft Aura

Our antiquated boiler has given up and we need to replace the whole central heating system (not something you can avoid when you live in a 1930’s house in Cornwall – not that it gets that cold here but the houses all suffer from the damp without some background heating during the winter months) and the ten year old car is not going to go on forever.  It’s great for taking the kayaks to the beach but you wouldn’t trust it to get you to the Lake District and back!  I have been dragging my heels on both counts as it will involve a large loan.  So I might have been a bit rash this week.  I was extolling the virtues of the Majacraft Aura (I blame Ravelry) when my husband said: ‘Just buy one, you know you really want one.’  So I did!!!

Now I have a Majacraft Aura.  I can’t believe it is actually sitting in my house.  Since spotting one of these being used in a market in New Zealand I have coveted one.  It is a carved work of art (a seriously expensive carved work of art) and I just love it!  It has beautiful markings in the wood and is signed by Owen Poad.

My Majacraft Aura (well actually all of them) is made from New Zealand Rimu and has a bamboo wheel.

My Aura spins beautifully, the treadles are really smooth and the adjustments are infinite.  I’ve only just started to experiment on her but in theory she can spin art yarn, lace weight yarn and anything in between.  Although it’s probably not the best time to try out a new technique such as cable plying the first time you are using a spinning wheel that works so differently from any other you’ve ever used!  My cable plied Corriedale turned out OK for a first attempt and the hand dyed BFL given to me by Ruth Robinson from The Wheel Ewe is spinning up quite nicely:

 

It will be far easier to take the Majacraft Aura to my spinning guild as it folds and has a handle.  But I might be a bit precious about it and worry about it getting damaged.  Also, I have always had the cheapest wheel at the guild which I am totally fine with and it might be a bit embarrassing to turn up with the most expensive wheel.  But I might get over that.

Now I’m not going to be spending as much time spinning on my trusty Ashford Kiwi I might finally get around to decorating him (not entirely due to feeling guilty at replacing him).  Previously I was too busy spinning on him to decommission him long enough to paint.  I won’t be going overboard with that.  I’ve decided to paint the wheel in an off white and then I’ll paint ferns onto the treadles and behind the kiwi, (again in white) to keep in with the New Zealand theme.  When he’s up and running again after his overhaul I think I will put the super flyer on him and leave him set up ready to ply anything I’ve spun on my Aura.

The Aura is almost too beautiful to use.  Almost.

 

 

My new Ashford Kiwi 2

My new spinning wheel has arrived.  An Ashford Kiwi 2 with a super flyer!  I’m so excited.

I learnt to spin (badly) on a drop spindle a couple of years ago but wasn’t interested in using a spinning wheel.  I had an image in my head of the pictures from fairy tales of huge room-filling, ornate wooden objects in dark wood that just did not appeal.  At some point I spotted a more modern wheel and fully intended to buy an Ashford Kiwi 2 the last time I was in New Zealand as we would be driving right past Ashford’s shop in Ashburton.  Before we got there, we met a lady in a market in Raglan who was spinning on a beautiful modern upright spinning wheel that looked like a carved work of art.  She told me that what I really wanted was a Majacraft and so a seed of doubt crept in and I didn’t buy my new wheel at that point.  Once home I researched further and discovered that she was right; I did really want a Majacraft.  Unfortunately, they are a tad pricey.

Then I discovered that Ashford have brought out a super flyer to go with the Kiwi 2 for making art yarns.  My decision was made; back to my original choice.  I would buy the Kiwi 2 which will spin most of the yarns I want as it is, with a super flyer for chunky art yarns, and a high speed adapter for fine yarns.  The day I decided to take the plunge and order it,  I noticed that a couple of shops had dropped their prices, probably due to the drop in the New Zealand dollar combined with the strong pound.  Then I discovered that a lady called Jane Deane who lives in Tavistock in Devon (and who conveniently was visiting our local Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers this week to give a talk on dyeing) also now sells Ashford products.  She managed to get me a really good deal on the Kiwi 2 and all the extras, better than the larger companies and said she would deliver it too!

The traditional spinning wheel I have been borrowing from the Guild has been fun to play with but it’s not really designed to make art yarns, so I am really looking forward to using my new wheel.  I just have to put it together now…

 

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