For my graduation present to myself, I gave myself a lovely spinning wheel. I started spinning yarn this past winter on a drop spindle, but I was finding it difficult with my old, creaky shoulders. I took at spinning class (that is yarn, not bicycles!) at the Yarn Barn in Lawrence, Kansas. It was a great treat; I got to try out some different wheels and learn more about the process. I did some looking around, and I finally settled on this little lovely wheel made by JMS Spinning Wheels.
My Cassandra was hand-crafted specifically for me (she is short!). Besides the affordability for a new spinner, what really sold me on this spinning wheel was the small footprint and its sturdiness. It is made with salvaged cherry, pecan, and walnut wood, making it one of the most beautiful and practical pieces of furniture in my house. It came with a lazy kate and 8 bobbins; I never thought I would need that many bobbins, but when you are learning and trying new techniques and wool, they do fill up rather quickly!
Which brings me to another big selling point–the orifice and bobbins on the flyer are already large enough that I will never need to invest in a second flyer (most wheels come with smaller flyers/bobbins and you have to buy the larger size separately). Another point that I really appreciate with this wheel, is that John has designed it so that many parts (some hardware, polyurethane drive bands, and the hemp cord scotch tension band) can be easily replaced if or when needed. The most care it has needed so far is a little oil to keep the footmen from complaining.
John and Cassie at JMS Wheels have been wonderful to work with. Cassie even called me one day to help me figure out what I was doing wrong when I tried to ply 2 singles. I have to say, even though the scotch tension has been a little challenging to get a handle on, this wheel has been amazingly simple to operate and works like a dream! I also joined Ravelry, where JMS Wheels has a group; there I can read what issues and solutions other Cassandra owners may have, plus I get to see what fabulous yarns I can make with my new wheel. Please keep checking back, as I plan to blog about my adventures with my Cassandra!