I had nothing to worry about. When I first laid eyes on my "baby" I was slightly shocked at how small it was.
And how cute it was! The lady I purchased it from told me it was handmade by a Mennonite man who made one for each of his daughters. He didn't want the art of spinning to die out so did his bit to encourage it.
I love my wheel! We had about a year of getting acquainted and with me learning her little quirks and nuances, but she and I are really pretty good friends now. A big thanks goes to my niece who has been spinning much longer than I, for showing me a thing or 2 about the whole process. (Thanks SpinninAGoodYarn!)
Back to my Wensleydale......
Wensleydale wool has a pretty long staple (length of the fiber) and is kind of wiry and coarse. When I attended a fiber fair I was entranced with all the billowing clouds of fluffy fiber. I was drawn to a table that had this wool, all combed and carded and ready to spin. I really had no clue what kind of wool it was, but I loved the beautiful grey color and the spongy soft feeling of it. I bought a bagful of the stuff.
That was back while I was still getting to know my wheel, so the bag lay mostly undisturbed for over a year.
A couple of months back I decided it was time to spin the beautiful grey cloud of fluff.
I had previously dyed some Alpaca fiber, using Kool Aid, and wanted to introduce some of that. I would spin some wool for a while and then switch to colored Alpaca for a while, then back to the grey wool, and back and forth.
I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to ply this with another strand and have the colors match up, but soon solved my problem by determining to ply with a solid strand of grey.
I really loved how it turned out! Kind of heathery and muted.
With the plying done, I set the twist by washing the wool gently (as I could tell it would felt if I was vigorous), and hung it to dry.
After drying I used a bit to knit up a swatch. I love how it knits, how it feels and how it looks. It will make a great pair of socks.