Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wool and Wheels

 I took a trip up north today to Columbia City.  I was privileged to attend a spinning/weaving guild meeting.  I found the place o.k.  It was out in the country a bit but I had good directions.

She was spinning alpaca.

 This lovely lady was plying wool.

The alpaca spun and plied and put into a lovely hank. I got to let it sit on my lap.  It was so soft and pretty.

 There were several different brands of spinning wheels.  Kromski, Lendrum, Sickenger and Ashford.  The above wheel is the Kiwi model made by Ashford.

 I was lovingly corrected when I called these goats, sheep.  :)

 I asked a ton of questions and the ladies were all so gracious in answering them.  They were very knowledgeable about all things woolly and spin-ish.

The one question that I asked that didn't get a direct answer was this..."What (used) wheel would you recommend a beginner start with?"    Each person I asked said..."You must spin on the wheel as much as possible before you purchase it to find out which wheel works for you".

O.K.  I appreciate their honesty.   But are you thinkin' what I am thinkin?
I don't know how to spin.  I want to learn to spin.  I can't  try out a wheel until I learn to spin.  But I shouldn't buy a wheel until I try it out.  
So, which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Ha.

It is all great food for thought and I will think about it a lot!!!!


  1. I found the same dilemma when I started my spinning journey. I finally just decided it was something i was going to do. And in retrospect, if you do jump in and then later decide it's not for you, there is a good market for used spinning wheels. You should be able to recoup any $ invested in it that way. So it's worth that risk.

    I did find it very useful to try out spinning wheels. I looked and researched and had put together a list of spinning wheels I thought I wanted. Then I had the chance to try them out and oh my, it was totally different than I thought. I ended up buying a wheel that I was skeptical of initially but loved when I used it. For me it was an issue of some wheels moved a lot for me (maybe a lead foot?) and this one holds still and spin easy enough.

    Good luck in all your decisions!!


  2. I wish you lived closer. We have a very large, active spinning and weaving guild near our home. They graciously answer all questions to the best of their ability with expert advice on knitting. They loaned me a wheel and taught me to spin at our county fair two years ago. I found a store that would allow me to try wheels. You might search for one that would do that. I agree with the other comment that the market for used wheels is good. That same advice was given to me and so I started with the one that I thought would suit me best and it so happened that a friend was a dealer. I've always thought I could add other wheels later if necessary later on. You might ask friends to let you try their different varieties. I recommend finding one whose tension adjusts well. Also, decide what you like to spin most and try to learn which wheels are best for certain types of yarn. I guess I take my spinning group for granted, sounds like it is a bit of traveling to get to one in other areas. Alpaca is one of my favorites to spin!