A friend of mine and I took an introductory spinning class on Saturday. It was held in the teacher's living room. In addition to having 8 wheels set up in the room, she also had a full-sized loom, a table top loom, a zillion beautiful spindles, carders galore, and examples of her handiwork from quilting to cross-stitch, from crochet to knitting. Amazing.
The first wheel I tried was a very small parlor wheel with an unusual treadle operation. As hard as I tried, I could neither treadle proplerly nor get the pencil roving to twist and wrap around the bobbin. I thought my hopes for learning to spin might just be a pipe dream. When another person in the class (whom I know a bit from knitting group) offered to let me try out her single-treadle Saxony wheel--since I seemed to be an old-fashioned gal--I moved over and looped the roving into the leader. Hey! It worked! I was making yarn!
Soon I switched back to my spot. I called the teacher over who recognized that there was a problem with the way the first wheel was set up. She traded my assigned wheel for another parlor wheel and things were OK. The yarn I produced was thick and over-twisted--but it was recognizable.
I can't wait to try it some more. I've been dreaming about spinning since Saturday.... My experience in the class confirmed for me that the Kromski Symphony might be a great choice. I do really want to try it out at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival next weekend before I buy one, though.
Last night we had a lovely evening with some friends we have not seen in too long. David mentioned that I had just taken a spinning class and was thinking of buying a wheel. "You mean an exercise bike for the basement?" asked our friend. I had to laugh. I guess my kind of spinning probably burns more calories than knitting, though.
My favorite picture from the class: