Saturday, September 15, 2007
This afternoon S and I took a trip into the valley to visit Stick & Stone Fiberarts, a lovely little LYS that specializes in spinning and weaving equipment and fiber.
Can you guess from the picture above who came home with me?
Margarete, the owner, and Elsa, were absolutely fabulous. Very helpful, there when I needed help, but not cloying. I was able to try out several wheels including the Sonata, which I also was seriously considering, and a Traveler. All in all, I'd guess that she had about 10 different wheels set up in the shop that you could try out.
After trying a few I decided to go with the Ashford Joy. I had a good time with this wheel in my spinning class and like the looks of it. The Sonata was definitely a close second, felt good to spin with as well, but I opted for the Joy given its slightly smaller size and cleaner lines.
S was a super trooper going with me and putting his "how does this work" mind to the wheels. It was also nice to heard him say he thought that the Joy was a good choice for the size and appearance factors... given it's a bit more expensive, having a second opinion on those things was very helpful.
After picking out the wheel, I looked around at her great selection of fibers and came home with some recommended easy starters: a natural color Bluefaced Leicester and a dark brown Corriedale. Very soft, beautiful colored fibers.
If you're considering a wheel, I'd strongly recommend Stick & Stone. The prices they had were comparable to anything I saw online, the service was fantastic, and I felt great about supporting a local business.
Since coming home I've played around some and gone into my stash to take a good look at what other, store bought, yarns look like. Wow... laceweight and sock yarn is thin! My singles right now will probably make a pretty good worsted weight in a 2 ply but I've got a ways to go in terms of developing consistency & yarn evenness.
I think I'm going to enjoy the practice!