While we were in Ohio, we took a couple of days for an adventurous trip to Frankfort, Kentucky. Mom and Dad donated the car and Tom drove us south. We stopped at William Howard Taft National Historic Site in Cincinnati (read about it here). Then we moved on to Frankfort for the raison d’etre of the trip: a visit to The Woolery.
I have been ordering spinning materials online from The Woolery for a couple of years. When Tom and I decided I needed my own spinning wheel, I wanted to try them out instead of ordering online. I wanted a wheel that looked historical, didn’t take up too much room in the RV, and could create the yarns I wanted to spin. In other words, I wanted to see it and touch it before buying a wheel.
Consequently we needed to go to The Woolery. The Woolery is the only store in the United States with a large selection of spinning wheels in stock. The store also has a huge selection of weaving looms. The Woolery does most of its business online – not enough walk-in traffic in weaving and spinning to keep a store in business. But they also maintain the store in Frankfort for anyone who wants to make the trip.
When I walked into The Woolery, I felt like I found the Mecca of spinners and weavers. A saleswoman, Annie, came over and asked how she could help. She spent the next two hours with me as I tried different wheels and decided which one to buy. I quickly narrowed it down to two castle wheels and spent some time spinning with each. A castle wheel has the wheel and the flyer arranged vertically so it has a smaller footprint. Most people are more familiar with a Saxony wheel but both are equally historical. The biggest adjustment for me was the treadling. I have only used a single treadle and both wheels had double treadles.
I finally picked out the spinning wheel I wanted: a Kromski Minstrel with mahogany finish. Then I added a few accessories (of course). I also took time to look at looms and the thousands of pounds of roving The Woolery carries in stock. Wool, cotton, silk, flax, hemp. More exotic fibers like alpaca, camel, and even opossum! I don’t think I will be spinning opossum any time soon. Annie was very helpful and answered all my questions.
You may wonder what Tom, Mom, and Dad were doing during those two hours. They met the owner of The Woolery and he gave Tom and Dad baseball caps for “being good sports.” Mom found some beautiful roving and shared her finds with me.
I loved visiting The Woolery and am thankful my family wanted to go with me. I found a spinning wheel that I love. And I got to see and feel the stuff that I can now order, with confidence, online.