What advice to give to new spinners
Where to buy your first wheel
There are a daunting number of spinning wheels for sale online.
My New Year's post received a lovely note and inquiry in the comments—with a question that I'm asked pretty regularly:
"Where can I buy a spinning wheel online? I am just beginning and…"
Isn't it a thrill to remember back to that moment when you realized that you want to learn how to spin? It always gives me goose bumps. Sometimes when people decide they are going to take up spinning, the desire to have all the right tools, right away, takes over. I recommend that future spinners learn how to spin first and then start acquiring the tools. Here's what I recommended to the reader:
How exciting that you're taking up spinning! It's a wonderful relaxing and rewarding way to spend your time and energy. Before you start investing in equipment, I recommend taking a class or two—not just to learn how to spin, but because in many spinning classes you get the chance to try out a lot of different styles of spinning wheels and equipment. Check with your local spinning and knitting shops in addition to your local guild. If this kind of class isn't available in your area, then I'd recommend poking around to see if you have spinners in your neighborhood. You'd be surprised how many are within a two block radius of my house. Sure, I live in a city—but spinners in rural areas abound as well. They may even have an extra wheel or two that they are willing to let you borrow so that you can get a feel for spinning before you purchase your own wheel.
We have plans to update the Great Spinning Wheel Roundup for 2013 (it first appeared in the Fall 2008 issue).
To answer your question about buying a spinning wheel online, there are a number of resources—you can purchase spinning wheels from online shops; individuals who are downsizing via websites such as Craigslist, Etsy, eBay, or Ravelry; and sometimes directly from the manufacturers. Our Fall 2008 issue includes "The Great Spinning Wheel Roundup," which includes all the specs for many of the wheels available and we will be updating the information in our upcoming Fall 2013 issue. You could also check out the ads in Spin-Off—there are so many places to purchase spinning wheels. And, there are a lot of resources here on spinningdaily.com that can help you figure out what you need to get started spinning and our free eBooks are a great place to start!
Ultimately, you want to make sure to get the wheel that works the best for you and what you want to do. I'd wait until you have more experience with spinning wheels before you purchase one—that way you'll have more of a chance of knowing what you want and need. Think of when you learned to drive a car—did you purchase one before you knew how to drive? Did you have a chance to try a lot of different cars before you bought one? Just like cars, there are so many variables that go into why one spinning wheel that is the perfect wheel for one spinner, just doesn't cut the mustard for another.
When you get these kinds of questions—how do you respond? Do you recommend that the budding spinner start with a spinning wheel or a spindle? How did you gather what you needed to start spinning successfully? Let me know in the comments.