Updated: Apr 23
I have had quite a journey getting to what I believe is my true passion, or calling. Anyone who knows me knows that I dabble, and try/learn, almost any art or craft there is as long as I can afford it! haha. I have also always been drawn to the most basic skills, skills many humans have forgotten or forgotten/neglected to pass on.
This decades long journey led me to learn spinning in the year, yep you guessed it, 2020! I was working on embellished, embroidered, stuffed animals that were to focused primarily on endangered animals. I thought "hmmm maybe I could learn to spin my own embroidery threads?" This led me to look locally, on social media, for agriculture groups where someone may have a fleece of wool. I live in high desert NM so I thought it would be a cinch to find wool.
That search led to 10 fleeces, some free, some worthless, of wool. 2 alpaca fleeces and a free llama fleece. I quickly started searching information about spinning and found, on clearance and close out, the EEL nano which is a little electric wheel. For $50 I thought I could see if I even liked spinning. I also, me being me, immediately found some plans online, that I bought, for making my own wheel! The plans were not great but I am rather familiar with building things so I was able to make it work. I quickly learned I did not like that type of wheel (spinning with a spindle as opposed to having a bobbin). So I changed the design to make it a bobbin wheel and it worked for as long as I needed, along with my nano, to KNOW I was in love with spinning.
Of course having raw fleeces had to be part of the process and it is a long process to get it to a spinning condition! Washing (don't felt it), and flicking combing to get all the debri out! I learned that was time consuming but so rewarding and I was very happy to see I was not dreading that particular process of a project! That was a good sign for me as if I hated all the processes to get to the point of spinning it would not be something I wanted to immerse myself in. I hate to buy products for project if I can make them and buying wool or other fiber just to spin it felt like cheating to me. So happy dance there!
I longed for a real wheel and asked for help finding a good inexpensive simple wheel on social media. This amazing woman messaged me and said she could just send me one of hers that she did not need! What? I offered some of my products I was making/selling at the time and she said no. She would not allow me to pay for shipping from CA either! I was so very blessed. The wheel's name is Maggie, her original name given her by the first owner (I am the third owner). This wheel only likes to spin thin and then as I learned more and started spinning flax I learned that Maggie is a flax wheel! Magic!
As a side note I love the name Maggie and I associate it with Maggie from the Walking Dead. Maggie is strong and reliable and she gets the job done!