A while back I asked my aunt who has my grandmother’s spinning wheel whether she’d be happy to let me have it. Understandably she wanted to keep it, but instead, she bought me an old spinning wheel at an auction. When my parents came over to see me a few weeks back, they brought the wheel with them (yes, they did manage to bring it with them on an airplane!).
But once here, my dad and I started testing it and unfortunately did not manage to get it to work. Superficially it appears OK, in that it does spin around, but it does not wind the yarn around the bobbin, probably because the bobbin doesn’t turn freely enough. A shame, but luckily it did not cost very much money. It is a beautiful spinning wheel nevertheless, and I’ll definitely keep is just for decoration.
In any case using an antique wheel would probably not have been a very practical option, as it wouldn’t be easy to find spare parts like extra bobbins for it. So in the end I decided buying a modern spinning wheel would be the way to go (and thank you dad very much for the early Christmas present contribution towards the cost of it!) . After a few hours of research on the internet, I settled on the Schacht Ladybug wheel.
To my immense delight, it arrived the following day, and I had a very exciting day putting it together and having my first go. I just love it!
As I have no spinning teacher, learning to spin on a wheel did seem quite intimidating at first. Learning it from a book did not seem like an easy option, so I decided to buy a video-based training course by Mary Casey from Interweave. The video is just brilliant, definitely worth the money, I’d recommend it for anyone wanting to learn to spin by themselves. Mary Casey is a very knowledgeable teacher and she calmly gives you all the information you need, without causing an information overload.
Nevertheless, I can’t pretend it was easy to get started. Although theoretically I knew what I was meant to be doing, it was not that simple to get my hands and feet to do the right thing (particularly as they all needed to be doing a different thing!). Even just treadling in the right direction seemed unexpectedly complicated at first. And the yarn, needless to say, it was complete shambles.
But the following day, after a lot of practise, my feet and hands suddenly started getting it. Not that I am aiming for any specific type of yarn at the moment, just achieving continous yarn is a good enough goal for me!
Now I am completely addicted to spinning, I just want to keep on spinning and ignore all the other jobs I should be doing… (although because of my ME I have to be a bit careful so that I don’t end up completely collapsing as a result). It’s amazing that something so simple and mechanical is not boring at all, instead it very hypnotic and meditative. I knew knitting can be therapeutic, but I am sure spinning is equally so!