One Hot Babe

My earliest exposure to spinning came through fairy tales. As a kid, I remember turning my bicycle upside down and using it as a pretend spinning wheel. I'm not sure I even realized that people could or did still spin yarn by hand until I got involved in knitting. Outside of historical reenactments, the first time I saw someone spinning was at the Knit Nook. A local spinner came in to do a demonstration on her wheel. I was greatly impressed with her ability to spin even yarn and nurse her cute little toddler at the same time. She made spinning look so beautiful and peaceful, I knew that it was something I wanted to do.

The problem was, I could never seem to get started! I wanted to take a class, but there aren't many offered in this area, and the ones that were available never meshed with my schedule. Fast forward through a few years of frustrating off and on attempts with a drop spindle, giving up and coming back, to finally figuring out what the heck I was supposed to be doing with the help of You Tube (this video in particular) and lots and lots of pre-drafting. As soon as I figured it out enough to make something resembling yarn, I got a feeling of thrill that reminded me of how I felt when I figured out how to knit.

From there, the decision to buy a wheel was easy. But what wheel? I spent about a week researching my options. I learned about the different kinds of wheels available today and asked around amongst my (very few) spinning friends to get their advice. (Thanks to Tara for a free spinning lesson on her AWESOME Schacht Matchless.) I scoured the internet and the Beginning Spinners forum on Ravelry. In the end, I decided that there were some qualities in a wheel that were really important to me:

  • Durability- I need to be able to stand up to lots of use, travel, babies and cats.
  • Versatility- I want to be able to spend any kind of yarn I want, from lace to chunky. Also, I wanted something that I could upgrade in the future with a Woolee Winder if I ever want one.
  • Price- I wanted a wheel as soon as possible, so I needed something cheap affordable. Sure, I could save up a thousand dollars or more for a super awesome wheel, but it would probably take me a year or two. I just can't stand to wait that long. Patience is not my strong suit.

After mulling it over for a few days, I ended up with this:

Babe

Babe2

She's a Babe Double Treadle Production wheel made out of PVC pipes. She's not going to win any spinning wheel beauty pageants (is there such a thing?), but she spins just fine!  Spinning on a wheel compared to a drop spindle is a pretty steep learning curve, but I'm picking it up without too much trouble. I'm really happy with my purchase so far. I think we're going to have a long and happy spinning partnership.

(BTW, total cost for the wheel from The Woolery with shipping and a niddy noddy: 263.00. Can't beat it with a stick!)

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2 Comments »

  1. Allison said

    Look at all that pretty pretty yarn!

  2. tonya said

    Congrats on the wheel!

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