This week, for my first anniversary gift, I received an Ashford Traveller spinning wheel.
*glowing with happiness*
I tried out all sorts of wheels at Gate City Fibers in Greensboro--the Ladybug, a Louet Victoria, the Ashford Kiwi, Ashford Traditional. The Traveller was by far the winner in the categories of (1) prettiness, (2) smoothness of treadle, and (3) compactness.
We saved money by purchasing the wheel unfinished and unassembled. I recommend this actually, especially to beginning spinners. When I opened the box and put every piece of the wheel on the table for finishing, I really learned about each individual piece of the wheel, and what each part does.
Even though it looked like a big old mess.
Then, the husband put it together for me, while I supervised. The conversation was often funny.
Me: That's the maiden.
Me: And that's the lazy kate.
Mike: Don't we already have one of those?
And then the wheel was finished.
While Mike built the wheel, I was unraveling some thrift store sweaters. My goal with the wheel has never been to make yarn from scratch--although I'm sure I'll do that too (especially for lace-weight yarns). Instead, I want to make yarn from recycled sweaters, by plying it with raw fiber I process at my home. I'll post some pictures of my results, soon.