I got a wheel for my birthday!
Yes, a real actual spinning wheel. I am such a lucky person, I just can't believe it. :)
The wheel in question is a Babe single treadle production model. I've been researching and drooling over spinning wheels since, oh, shortly after I figured out how to work my drop spindle, and now I have one of my very own. The Babe is often recommended as a a good starting model as they are about 1/3 the cost of a wooden wheel, and they spin smoothly and well.
I sat down today and really took some time to try things out: I tried different kinds of fibre from my stash, and discovered that it's true that each kind of fibre 'wants' to be spun differently. I also discovered that on the wheel, I get much tighter and more even singles than I do on the drop spindle. Those lovely blue mitts I'm working on make use of loosely spun singles, which come out quite easily on the drop spindle but are much trickier to do on the wheel (well, so far, I am a complete rookie at this after all).
I couldn't resist the experiment - I took some of that lovely blue fibre and have it going on the wheel. I'll spin up what I need to finish the other mitt on the drop spindle (I'm 1/3 of the way there, I was spinning some at the fair on the weekend) but I suspect that the remainder of that blue fibre will end up being spun into yarn on the wheel!
I have much more experimentation to do, but so far, I absolutely love wheel spinning. I am sure I'll continue with the drop spindle as well, but the speed of the wheel is just amazing. I have my first skein of 'experiment yarn' drying at the sink right now ... plying on the wheel is so stunningly easy, I'm sure I will be doing it a lot more often!
Aahh. Fibre. I've decided that I can probably be classified as a confirmed addict at this point. in fact, I think I'm going back to the wheel for a bit before bed. :)