Monday, January 19, 2009

Polly, Pocket Wheel

Because I have a number of nieces, I have seen all things related to Polly Pocket toys.

I have a new toy. For some reason I can.not get "Polly Pocket Wheel" out of my head!

My spinning wheels have names. Do yours?

My very first wheel was a Louet Victoria and I call her Lil' Vicki. She was a very good first wheel and my travel wheel.

Next came the Schact Matchess. She is named Stipulation. Huh, you say? When I purchased it Greg said to go ahead and buy it but there was one stipulation. She couldn't "live" in the living room. That is how she got her name.

Since July 2008 I have been on the waiting list for a Pocket Wheel by Doug Dodd.

Last week Ellen and I drove up to Bellingham to pick up our wheels. I was beyond thrilled and excited! Now that I have had some time to spin on her, I love her even more than I thought I would.

Here is a photo comparison of Stipulation against Polly Pocket.

When I put my deposit down in July I was hoping for Christmas delivery. I would email Doug from time to time to find out where I was on the list and I realized I wasn't going to get it even before the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat mid February. Well I do have it! Yes! But...there is a story to be told because I would still be on the the waiting list. You'll have to read on to discover how I got her.

Since he first came out with this wheel, he has made a few design changes. His most current design of the wheel does not have a leather strap. I have always wanted the leather strap version for ease of transport. You can still get the design with the leather strap but it is special order now.

He had three wheels available to take delivery of now. He wasn't willing to ship these. I believe he had taken them to a St. Distaff Day gathering and one woman had wanted one of the wheels but never contacted Doug. Ellen just happened to e-mail Doug about a week and a half ago inquiring on the progress of the waiting list and he happened to mention he had three wheels available now that had leather straps. There were two maple and one prunewood. She took the prunewood.

I had a choice between the two maple ones. At first I wasn't sure I wanted to take delivery of a maple one because I had set my mind on Cherry. I decided the type of wood wasn't so important to me but having the leather handle was. Plus I figured maple might be just a tad lighter than Cherry. Do I have to mention that getting one now was a real motivator?

I had to decide between a change in the design of how the ratio change thingy(my technical term) attaches to the wheel. The change in the design was made so it is easier for him to create. One had the new design, the other had the old design. With a waiting list of over 70 now, he has had to make some design changes so he can make all us spinners happy!

He says there is no difference in functionality with this change but I liked having the older model. He said it makes it slightly easier to treadle. That doesn't make much difference because this baby is easy to treadle anyway. I have only compared my wheel(with the old design) and Ellen's(with the new design). I do think the treadling is a bit smoother and my wheel seems to be a tiny bit quieter but I can't say if this is due to this design change or something else.

This baby is small! So adorable and she spins SO smoothly. It really is an amazing design.

Being vertically challenged(petite) this wheel really is comfortable for me. The pedals are higher up so there is less strain on my low back. I can sit on a sofa, a dining room chair, my office desk chair and they are all comfortable. This has not been the case with my other wheels.

It is a scotch tension and it comes with 3 bobbins.

This wheel, by design, has an infinite # of ratios. You can purchase the wheel with a high speed option but I am not sure this is really necessary. For most folks the regular option is definitely going to work just fine. How are ratios changed on this wheel?

As you see in the photo above, there is a metal roller thing that moves up and down the silver shaft. You just take a little allen wrench tool and loosen the mechanism. You just move the roller thing up and down and this is what changes the ratio. As you move it toward the outer edge of the wheel, it has a faster/higher ratio. As you move it toward the center of the wheel, it has a slower/lower ratio. See? Infinite number of ratios and you don't need to carry and change whorls when necessary.

At this point I only have nice things to say about this wheel. I am seriously considering selling my Louet Victoria(for sure) and even possibly, the Schacht. I get a lot more spinning done because I just tote Polly around from room to room. I get in a few minutes here and there and before I know it a bobbin is full!

I even tried putting her under my desk. She fits. So I can be at my desk doing "work" and spin here and there as I need a break. Yes, I don't work anymore at a real job. If you do work at a job, you can hide your pocket wheel under your desk and spin from time to time! Your co-workers won't even know! :)


Michelle said...

Beautiful new wheel!

My lendrum is named Penelope!

bizyhands said...

Congrats on your new baby wheel, Naomi. I am happy you have found a wheel that works so well for YOU!

Jen said...

How cute! I can't wait to meet Polly.

And if you do decide to sell your Schacht... I'm still toying with the idea of learning to spin.

Amelia, belle of The Bellwether said...

Love the shots and detail on your pocket wheel :-) my daughter's Pocket Wheel is named "Lucky" because it was his seventh wheel. Lucky #7!

Melanie said...

What an adorable little wheel! I hope you and Ellen are both brining your Polly Pockets to Madrona.

Ann said...

Beautiful wheel! It's on my list, but not for a while yet. I hope to see it at Madrona this weekend.

Kate said...

So, how does one get on the waiting list for a pocket wheel, and how much do they cost?