Report from Stitches West 2003
by Kelley Dean-Crowley
Going for a Spin: Testing Wheels
Part of why I attended Stitches West was to try and buy a spinning wheel. I had thought that the Ashford Traveller or Traditional would be good candidates.

Thanks mostly to Carolina Homespun and several generous souls, I was able to try a number of wheels including a Schacht Matchless and a MajaCraft Gem, which spun and treadled nicely but made a sound I didn't like.
Carolina Homespun

When I returned on Saturday, Morgaine Wilder (owner of Carolina Homespun) had brought a number of other wheels and set them up in an open space across from her booth for people to try. I tried the Ashford Joy, a Louet S45, the Ashford Traveler, and a Lendrum wheel. My preference switched to the Lendrum followed by the Joy.
the wheels across from Carolina Homespun
But on Sunday, I tried the Kromski Minstrel. As I was testing wheels, Morgaine demonstrated spinning with a spindle to a growing group of people.

Several individuals sat down next to me to test the wheels and even more folks stopped to ask me questions (I guess I was doing a pretty good imitation of an experienced spinner!)

Vendors who didn't bring spinning wheels truly underestimated their market. While I was testing the Kromski Minstrel, Morgaine sold it to another woman. (Don't worry she has plenty more for me to try!)

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