Spinning Wheel Round Robin
|Members of the Lancaster Spinners and Weavers Guild have a wide range of wheels to share and discuss. Photo courtesy of Patricia Johnson.|
Never before have handspinners had so many choices when it comes to purchasing a spinning wheel. The world of wheels and fibers is at our fingertips—Kromski wheels from Poland, Majacraft wheels from New Zealand, Clemes & Clemes wheels from California, to name just a very few of the brands out there. There are also many small-scale wheel builders ranging from established names to those just starting to become known thanks to online networking. With so many choices and so many opinions, some new spinners can start to feel overwhelmed.
Recently, the Lancaster Spinners and Weavers Guild (Pennsylvania) hosted a program to share what members like and what they would change about their wheels. Guild member Patricia Johnson tells us more:
"Almost everyone in attendance at a recent guild meeting participated in a spinning wheel round robin discussion—even those who do not spin (yet). The theme was 'What do you love (or hate) about your wheel?'
"With about twenty-three members in attendance, the program was simple. Many members brought their wheel and explained what made it a favorite. Those without a wheel with them were encouraged to discuss theirs as well. Wannabe-spinners asked questions and inspected wheels closely.
'Ease of spinning, of course, was top of the list for why a wheel was a favorite, but things such as changing bobbins, portability, aesthetic value, and orifice size came into the discussion. As spinners talked about their wheels it evolved into explaining how or why they chose their wheel-or how their wheel chose them.
"The wheels in attendance were varied, with everything from Louets and Lendrums, to Ashfords and Ladybugs (Schacht). One antique wheel with 'issues' was examined closely by spinners and non-spinners alike. With a show of hands, it seemed that guild members have a fondness for the colorful Ladybug. It's been suggested that another more hands-on round robin be held in the future where members can try different wheels, including an e-spinner.
"It was a fun program with much laughter and information shared. A moderator kept things moving, yet giving each person time to talk. It was evident that we do love our spinning wheels."