About a month ago a medium sized box with MAJACRAFT stamped on the side arrived at our house. I was required to check the contents for faults, and then it vanished again. The box reappeared last week on my birthday*.
Unfortunately it wasn't a surprise. I've been busy assessing all the different travel wheels (we have a small house), reading reviews, and lurking on YouTube for quite some time. To the point where I had a list of travel wheels ranked from most to least coveted. Back in July I spotted the Woolmakers Bliss. It's not strictly a travel wheel, but was beautifully designed, had great reviews, and back then could be acquired for under £200 on special offer. I was telling Bob that this might be a sensible beginners option. Bob pointed out that this wasn't the wheel at the top of my list. And I pointed out that it was a great wheel on special offer. Then Bob looked flabbergasted, saying I should REALLY wait till my birthday. It that point the penny dropped, I'd just ruined a really awesome surprise for myself. Poo.
Had this been the really awesome surprise intended, I would have opened the box on my birthday and been fleeceless. Bob's revelation meant I could send off for a small swag of roving in advance, so my beautiful new rimu wheel wasn't sitting idle for long. I've started with a swag of English 56's, and spin about 30cm of roving a day for practice. I'd not heard of this breed before, but the fleece is supposed to be similar to Romney and good for beginners.
The first days yarn was quite lumpy as I tried to get the ratio and tension right. Then on the second day the end of the yarn disappeared on to the bobbin never to be seen again. That lot had to be cut off the bobbin! I now have two small bobbins of reasonably consistent singles resting before they are plyed. I can't wait to see exactly how unbalanced my first batch of yarn is. I wonder how long it's supposed to rest for?
(My birthday is also New Zealand Womans' Sufferage Day, because on that day in 1893 New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote in national elections. I am immensely proud to be born on this date, and that this year it marked the 120th anniversary of our right to participate in a democracy.)