I couldn't put it off any longer: a date with Maggie Casey and company

I have owned a Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel since that day in 2010 when Jim from Yarn Barn Of Kansas helped me choose it at the Albuquerque Convergence. I use it frequently to ply my Harrisville singles yarn together when I want the colors quite well mixed. But I realized recently when I had some glitches with the wheel drawing and was futzing with whorl sizes that I barely know what the parts of a spinning wheel are called much less how to use it properly. If I hadn't done a crash review of part names before I went to visit the Schacht Spindle Company last month, I would have looked at Denise with a little bit of trepidation when she asked about my mother-of-all.

During that fateful visit, Denise mentioned that Maggie Casey, co-owner of Boulder's Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins was teaching a beginning spinning class soon. It was further impressed upon me what an unmissable opportunity this was and that the classes filled up right away. I signed up. Even though it takes 75 minutes to drive to Boulder. Even though the classes go until 9:30 at night. Even though it is winter and a snowstorm could jeopardize any of the 6 classes. Even though my proverbial plate is full to overflowing with tasks. I want to spin and it couldn't wait.

Last night was the first class. Maggie brought this Corriedale fleece for the 8 of us to split. I never knew fleece looked like this right off the sheep.
 I was hooked even after hearing the word carder uttered. Somehow it hadn't occurred to me that there were steps between sheering the sheep and spinning. Carding seems to be a big one of those steps.
Maggie is a great story-teller and I left with a drop-spindle partly filled with inexpertly spun wool and a head full of sheep stories. I'm washing the fleece right now and can't wait for it to dry so I can practice with the drop spindle some more.

While listening to Maggie tell us how she scours her fleece and that she uses laundry baskets with holes all around--impossible to find any more, I searched my mental house for something I could use. Then I remembered this. The first stainless steel dye pot I bought many years ago was intended to fry turkeys. I never understood why anyone would dunk a turkey in boiling oil to cook it, but apparently many people do because Cabella's sells a lot of equipment for this pursuit. I never had a use for the inner bucket with holes... until now. I give you my new fleece-scouring apparatus, used these many years as a studio trash can.
 Now if that fleece would only dry so I can practice with the carders and drop spindle! Maggie wants us to start on the wheel next week and I'm hopelessly unprepared.