Sunday, March 16, 2008

My first wheel!!

Hello and welcome to my blog!! I must confess this isn't my first blog. I have abandoned the first one I had.. It had been months since I posted to it and it had gone in a different direction than I wanted it to. It just didn't seem to fit any longer, so I frogged it and have started over again!!

I want to start out by showing off the newest arrival to my fiber arsenal!! I finally purchased my first spinning wheel. I went back and forth for a long time because buying a wheel is a huge investment. I choose the Fricke S-160 folding wheel. It is beautiful!!! I ordered it from Spunky Eclectic and got really fast service. I ordered it on a Friday and it arrived the following Thursday, which I think is reasonable considering that it shipped from Maine to Iowa. They even included some BFL roving to get me started!!

I did everything wrong when choosing this wheel. I did a bunch of research on-line and everyone said the same thing. They all recommended that you take classes and try out several different wheels before buying one. The only problem is that even though I live in the Midwest where sheep and alpacas are plentiful, there aren't any local shops that sell spinning wheels. I haven't even seen roving in any of the local yarn shops. A road trip to a store that sells wheels is out of the question because it would eat up all of my wheel budget!!

I looked at several different models of spinning wheels on-line. The ones that I looked the hardest at were the Fricke, The Ashford Kiwi, the Schacht Ladybug, the Louet S15 and a Lendrum. In the end it came down to price. I didn't want to spend a whole lot because I wasn't sure if I would be able to spin, so I ruled out the Ladybug, and the Lendrum. The Fricke, the Kiwi, and the Louet S15 were all priced about the same. I ended up going with the Fricke because it offered 5 different speeds without having to buy any additional flyers and it came with a lazy kate. I liked the looks of it better than the Louet S15. I know that the Kiwi is recommended for beginning spinners, but if I remember correctly, even with buying additional flyers, it still didn't have as many speeds as the Fricke. It looked to me like the Fricke is a wheel that I can grow into. I also looked at the Hitchhiker, which appealed to my sense of humor, but it couldn't spin at a fast enough ratio to spin the type of yarns I wanted.

I am glad I took the plunge!! While my first few attempts at spinning yarn on the wheel haven't been very successful, I am getting a little better each time. It is kind of frustrating because I was spinning better yarn on a spindle, but I am sure that once I get used to the wheel it will improve. I have sent in my registration for a beginning spinning class being held during the Iowa Sheep & Wool Festival and I am also going to sign up for a spinning class being offered by adult ed classes.