Had my first spinning class today here. It's about an hour's drive from home, but so worth it.
The beginning spinning class is taught one-on-one and the first session is about three hours. Then you're turned loose at home with the class handouts, a drop spindle, two bags of wool roving (grey and white) and a spinning wheel, the model above, to practice for a week, until the next class.
Spinning, it seems, is all about using physics to put twists in fiber. Which explains the puzzling captions in Spin-Off magazizne about 6:1 ratios, etc. All the motions are simple, but co-ordinating them is the trick. But the teacher assured me that, just like knitting, it will all come together once the muscle memory is established.
It was a little hard to pay attention to the lesson, since the store is a treasure trove of everything fiber: wool rovings for spinning and felting, 'blank' yarns of various weights and all sorts of fiber for dyeing, dyes, spinning and weaving equipment, handspun and hand-dyed yarns, home-made soaps, two looms and a kitchen area for dyeing.
My major assignments: learn to treadle the wheel as slowly as possible to be consistent. And to practice drafting, which is drawing out a thin bunch of fibers from the larger mass, on the drop spindle.
And possibly spin on the wheel. But I'm in no hurry.