It works! The first skein is off the bobbin and washed! The texture is fantastic, and it was so easy- it seemed like the fiber just flew through my fingers.
Since the last post, Willa and I had a several hour pow wow with the wheel and the oil, and decided that the root of all the problems was in the crunchy crispy cracked leather strap on the footman. Problem was though, we couldn't remove it properly because the screws holding it in place are so rusted they started flaking about when I touched them (yes, I realize I could drill them out and replace them, but that's a lot of work and there isn't much room on the footman to go drilling the screws out) so we just snipped the leather and tied a new strap around the remains. Worked perfectly!
We were still left with an overly sticky treadle- so after Willa left, I broke down and did enough dis-assembly to wiggle the treadle completely off, so I could oil all the way down the metal pegs that hold it in place- after re-assembly, it moves so easily- like a hot knife through butter!
So here it is, the first finished skein off my new baby. What's it going to be? Who knows! I had no project in mind- just the joy of spinning this luscious natural brown wool. Maybe it will end up in my etsy shop- keep your eyes peeled!