You know the story, right? Where the Princess has to kiss a frog to find the Prince? Did you have to do that - get past a few toads to find your prince? I'd recount my rollercoaster ride that led to my Prince, but some stories are best told in person.
However, there is another fairytale I can share with you - because, sometimes you have to "kiss a few frogs" in your spinning journey, too. Allow me to tell you my story...
Long ago and far away... (this is a fairytale, afterall) there lived a young maiden who loved yarn. She decided that her love of yarn was leading her in the direction of spinning her own (it is only natural, right?), and off to the yarn shop she went - to find the tools she would need. Her first tools were simple:
A drop spindle, a book, some domestic wool. But home she went with her treasures. She tried and tried to spin something that remotely resembled yarn. The spindle was difficult for her to master. In frustration, she returned to the yarn shop for help - and was met by a most kind lady who taught her how to work with the wool and spindle. This wonderful lady even sat her down behind a wheel - though that did not go well - the maiden felt clumsy and uncoordinated. Back home she went, with her spindle in hand, determined to practice.
But soon, she knew that she needed more than a spindle to create the yarn of her dreams. She longed for a wheel. But the cost - it was so much. She waited, and saved - talked with her husband - and planned. Finally, after four months, she was able to get a wheel - a beautiful spinning wheel right out of a storybook! Her name was Aurora Rose - "Rory":
For a few weeks, she struggled to teach herself to use the wheel. She practiced and practiced - spun and spun - worked and worked - until it clicked. The movements and motions started to come more naturally - she could sit at her wheel and spin a bobbin of yarn, then another, then ply them! She was making yarn!
But her skeins were small. The bobbins on her lovely wheel held only so much. She purchased a larger bobbin and flyer kit - and struggled and struggled, but could not get it to work properly. She was frustrated with her limitations on her wheel. A more experienced spinner could no doubt have worked through the issues, but she was still so new. She decided to sell her beautiful first wheel and buy something else. Something that would allow her to hone her skills even more. She debated and calculated - between the wheel she'd sat before in her spindle days, or another...
She chose Julia-Morgan:
Oh rapture! Lovely in a different way - larger bobbins that would allow her to spin an entire 4oz skein at once! They bonded immediately and off they went on a glorious spinning journey. They spun merino, BFL, alpaca, silk... they spun thick yarn and thin yarn. They traveled to guild meetings and spinning nights.
And then came Christmas - the maiden and her family packed up for a two week visit with family across the country. The wheel had to stay behind. A week into her stay, the maiden could take it no more, and searched for a nearby store that rented out spinning wheels. She found one - but the wheel was a different one. It was the same type of wheel that she had sat in front of over a year ago in her own yarn shop - struggling with movements and coordination. The same wheel she'd rejected when choosing Julia-Morgan. But it was different now. She sat at the wheel and something magical happened - a connection was there. Spinning was effortless and smooth. She didn't want to stop. When she arrived home, she missed the wheel. Her own wheel paled in comparison. The connection just wasn't there. She was in love - but with another wheel!
She agonized for days. She listed pros and cons - she planned and calculated. And she made the decision - she would sell Julia-Morgan. The wheel needed to be in a home where she held the spinner's full affection. Several weeks later, she packed the wheel lovingly into her car, and drove her to her new owner. She returned to a wheel-less house... she waited nine days. Nine grueling days. Until...
Her Katie-bug arrived. This was it - this was HER wheel. It was not lost on her that she'd been introduced to this wheel before, and totally failed to see that it was indeed her "prince." She had taken the scenic route, but had arrived at her destination at last.
All that was left? To ride, err, spin... off into the sunset.