When I went to my first spinning guild there were about 30 members, and they opened there hearts to me. I mostly observed, and brought my knitting with me. There were many members with all kinds of wheels and all kinds of ideas and sharing concepts on fiber. It was overwhelming. A Lady even taught me a simple memorable knitted finger glove pattern, which I will share later. Anyway, I was wondering what kind of wheel to get. One lady suggested that I build my own since money might be a problem. My husband thought that might be feasible. So on tax return day my husband said he would build me a spinning wheel if he could buy a scanner with the tax return money. I consented. I got a castle wheel pattern from a book from the library. At first I wanted a more of a traditional look for a spinning wheel, but I thought that the castle style might be easier to travel with. Which is funny because the wood that I chose is really heavy. Jeremy asked me what kind of wood that I wanted. He gave me some suggestions, and we both came up with purple heart wood. I called around for it and most dealers said that they didn't carry it. One dealer thought I was some kind of idiot because he never heard of it, and that I didn't know what I was talking about. Yes there is a tree out there that has purple wood. We finally found some at a specialty dealer. Then we went to Jeremy's home town and used the schools' tools to build with, because the shop teacher knew Jeremy personally and at that time you could do that sort of thing. Anyway that is my wheel, an purple heart castle style wheel. I am quite proud of it . Thank you Jeremy.
On wool, (because my focus is my children) it has taken some time for me to progress in spinning but I had a break through a few days ago. I hope I can explain it to you so that you can understand. I think I might have to create a video. I didn't like the concept of washing the wool in the washing machine, neither did my husband because he was concerned that the machine would get ruined with all the dirt and then we would have to buy a new laundry machine. I tried it in the bath tub and it was a difficult process and again my husband was concerned that we would ruin the bathtub drain by clogging it, and he didn't like the mess. Plus the vegetable matter didn't come out. Because of not being able to focus on working with wool I couldn't figure out the answer to clean wool. I ran into people along the way that would tell me how easy cleaning wool was and that they just stuck it in the washing machine, or tub and it came out so clean. I don't know how they did it until recently. It is the "before you wash the wool" stage. You have to take the vegetable matter out! Take it out with a dog brush. The bristles move instead of being held firmly in place like a carder. They are sometimes called flicker brushes (remember the bristles need to be able to swivel). So take a flicker brush and a lock of lambs wool, and hold one end of the lambs wool firmly. While brushing gently with the other end of the wool to get out vegetable matter. Be careful on doing that because the fibers will break and create "split ends" and create pills. More tomorrow.