Yesterday I went to a beginning spinning class at The Mannings. It was an all-day soup-to-nuts kind of class. First, we learned about evaluating and cleaning a fleece. We talked about different wheel styles and each chose one from the showroom to use for the rest of the day. I wanted an upright wheel with double treadles, and I knew I probably did not want a Louet wheel. I talked about it with the instructor, Thomas, and told him I'd been using an Ashford Traveller with my other spinning teacher, Gail. He recommended the Schacht Ladybug. Here she is - isn't she cute?
At first I wasn't sure I would like a spinning wheel with a big red piece of plastic on it. But I grew to love it - it's so sporty and fun, and very portable. I like the open style of the guide hooks (very different from the Ashford ones) and I like that the orifice is centered on the wheel rather than off to the left. I like the stretchy drive band. I really like the tensioned lazy kate attachment - see the little black bands on the bobbins down below? Those slow down the bobbins while plying, exactly what I was longing for when I plied on the Traveller.
Thomas walked us through dying fleece, carding, combing, spinning, and plying - it was a long day. A few more photos are over on my Flickr set.
I made some more yarn and bought some more roving (Louet Coopworth) to practice spinning with. I learned how to draft from the fold, which I found helped me keep control of fiber that is slippery. All in all, it was a very good day.
Don't I have a birthday coming soon? Do I deserve a sporty new wheel?