Well, the spinning wheel I mentioned in the last post didn't work out, but it led me to a wonderful adventure today. I had the amazing opportunity during my class to try a variety of types and brands of wheels, thanks to our teacher Jovencio who fixed up all these long forgotten wheels for us. We all enjoyed trying the various wheels and figuring out our preferences, which were very different from student to student. Of the wheels I tried, the Ashford Traditional was definitely my favorite, but I'd been wondering about Schacht wheels too. I hadn't yet seen one in person, and I certainly hadn't had the chance to spin on one since I only began spinning last week, but I know the build very high quality products and I love their looms.
Today running errands, I realized we were near the Schacht factory and I remembered from the tour I took previously that they have a showroom of all their products. (By the way, if you're interested in weaving or spinning at all, you should absolutely go on their fantastic tour if you're ever in the area!) I wasn't sure if I'd be able to see the spinning wheels there today, but since I had been considering them and the other wheel didn't work out, we decided to stop by while we were in the area.
Today I certainly lucked out! Jane Patrick of Schacht Spindle Co. not only showed me all of their wheels, but she encouraged me to spin on a few models. (Not only that, but she was very patient with my beginner spinning skills too.) She was a wealth of knowledge and during my short time there I was able to learn much more about wheels - Castle vs. Saxony, Single vs. Double Drive, etc. Just as I suspected and hoped, the wheels were wonderful, clearly well crafted, and beautiful too. Now I know what I need to purchase once I'm back from my residency. And speaking of the residency, it turns out Jane lived in Iceland and even learned to weave there.
I'm so glad we decided to stop in during my last minute errands even though I'm leaving in a matter of hours now. Not only was I able to try these amazing wheels in person, but it was also exciting to learn more about spinning and remember why I've decided to go on this epic journey to weave, spin, and dye in Iceland for two months!