Spinning

Spinning: My Quest for a Wheel

Spinning. I have tried to resist it, truly I have, but she is a temptress I cannot deny.

I’ll admit that early in my knitting life I found spinning intriguing, but I also felt it was something way out of my league. Then, after a while, I found myself purposely avoiding anything and everything to do with it. Blog and forum posts about handspun yarn, fast forwarding through podcasts, skipping the wheel and fiber ads in my knitting magazines. I knew. I knew I was going to sprint down the spinning path once I let myself step foot outside the door.

One day earlier this year, my husband and son tagged along with me on a trip to my local yarn shop, ninety minutes away. While there, my husband noticed a spinning wheel on the display floor. After telling him what it was, he was curious and asked if I wanted to make my own yarn. I promptly distracted him, and myself, with the pretty already made yarn instead of answering him. But of course, on the way home I started to let myself think about spinning.

I began reading those blog and forum posts, watching the spinning segments on the podcasts, and perusing the ads in my knitting magazines. In turn, this has led to more research, books, videos, and the scouting out of possible beginner classes. The unfortunate thing about where we live is that I often find myself isolated in my interests, and finding spinning classes or even a place to try different wheels on for size is frustrating and pretty much non-existent. Sure, my local yarn shop offers a short two hour class, but you have to bring your own wheel, and they only sell the one. That’s it. It’s discouraging.

I did manage to acquire a sample of BFL roving and I made myself a DIY drop spindle, so that I could at least try some form of spinning. I really enjoy drafting and seeing the fibers turn from fluff to string, but I’m definitely not a spindle pro. Practice, I know. Everything requires practice, and patience. So I keep working at it.

However, I still really want to learn to spin on a wheel. Wheels are just so expensive. I’ve been saving almost all year, selling things I no longer want or need, all to finance this purchase. After having a rather heartbreaking experience buying a used wheel, that I won’t go in to, I’ve decided that I want to buy a brand new wheel. I had planned on buying a Ladybug from my LYS, but every time my savings have been close enough to almost afford one…something comes up and I’ve had to dip in to my wheel fund, depleting it down to at least half. Such is life, and furloughs. A change of plan was needed, and I decided to reassess my budget; the conclusion being that I need to purchase a less expensive wheel.

Sure, there are a few wheels out there in my new lowered price range, but honestly, I just don’t like any of them. Without the ability to sit down at each of these wheels and try them, I’m afraid I’m left with my gut instincts. The “budget” wheels all seem to have relatively the same features, but I’m just not clicking with any of them. I had my heart set on the sweet and ever popular Ladybug, and I was just going to have to wait until next year…

But guess what? I ordered a wheel! I’ve been following the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry and Instagram, in love with all the talent and gorgeous handspun yarn, and I came across a post that read, “spun on my Bliss.” Wait…what? What is a Bliss? Thinking it was a type of spindle, I googled it.

Click.

Bliss - designed by Jan Louët exclusively for Woolmakers.
Bliss, designed by Jan Louët exclusively for Woolmakers

I just love the look of her. So different, and the price fit perfectly within my budget  (introductory pricing for the win!) and with what was left in my piggy bank. So, I quickly read everything I could find about this wheel. I found a group of Bliss owners on Ravelry too, and I talked to them. So very nice and helpful. I texted a photo of her to my husband and he of course told me to go for it. So I did. She won’t be here for a couple of weeks yet, but I am very excited! I feel really positive about this, and I can’t wait to start learning. And yes, there will be more once she arrives, as I fully plan on documenting my attempts at becoming a spinner.

~Mandy

P.S. I also emailed Woolmakers with a few questions, and for permission to link to their website, and I received the nicest email back. I am very impressed.

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