Well, I did not post over the weekend...mainly because I was busy -- Spinning!

Friday I took the beginning spinning class at The Mannings. Tom, the instructor was awesome. All the ladies in the class were great, we had a good time, we learned A LOT.

After the class was over...I went ahead and purchased a wheel. Tom had assigned me the Ashford Joy for class. He said because I am small it would be a good fit. Plus its very simple and easy for a beginner. I fell in love during the first few seconds of using it. So, that is the wheel that I purchased. The fact that it folds and is light to carry is a big selling point - especially now with my limit on space in the apartment.

I am glad that I had spent money at Maryland Sheep and Wool on some rovings. Immediately I began spinning the red colonial. This was my "practice" roving. And it went quite well. A little lumpy and bumpy, but not too bad. Overall, I think I have picked up spinning pretty easily. Something that I tend to be able to do: read about something for months, lust after it even, and then, because I have read so much about it...be able to just pick it up and do it.

Spinning is this way with me. I not only finished the 8oz. colonial red, but then did the 4oz. Merino/Tencel, and started the Sheep to Shoe kit!

For the first two I divided the fiber by weight into two equal parts. Then spun two bobbins and plied. Both times I had more on one bobbin, and so after skiening the two ply, I would try to split the left overs by spinning half onto a new bobbin, and then plying those two for a mini skien.

The Sheep to Shoe kit is a different story. Here I split the roving lengthwise into three sections. Sadly, I couldn't get the weight to work out evenly without messing up the color progression, so I just left it a bit uneven. I figure that I will work from heaviest to lightest, knowing that in the beginning I am going to have trouble keeping the ply light enough anyway. Hopefully by the end I will be very good at keeping a very thin single.

One problem with the Ashford Joy: its built in lazy kate. It is very nice and convenient to have it built in, however, it only holds two bobbins. Therefore, in order to do a three ply yarn, one needs to buy a separate lazy kate. I decided on the Ashford precision. It takes three bobbins. Technically I guess I could do up to a five ply now, three on the precision and two on the wheel itself.

I also had to purchase a few more bobbins as I only have three, which leaves no bobbin empty for plying. Another drawback of the Joy, only one flyer available. Now, as a beginner, I would expect that this standard flyer would be plenty for me for many years. However, after plying my first two spinning projects, I realized that having a bigger bobbin for plying, and therefore a bigger flyer to go around, would be very advantageous. Looking at the catalog, maybe I should have opted for the Traveler instead. That way I would not only have a built in three-bobbin lazy kate, but also the opportunity to have other flyer attachments, including the jumbo (perfect for plying).

But no worries! I am still VERY pleased with my purchase. I love my wheel, and I love spinning.