I did visit the Windy City Knitting Guild at their new home in the library. The library in my town has meeting rooms available for residents for free!
It has great lighting and a wind open space. There were about 7 women there with wheels all spinning away on various fibers. It was very cool to hear the whoosh of all those wheels. My friend R and I came as newbies. Annette offered to teach us if we came and she had tons of drop spindles if we visited. R came with her own spindle and roving from her last attempt at it. Annette also brought a wheel for us to take a spin on.
I had a good time on the drop spindle and one of the women came over and corrected me on my drafting. It was like a lightbulb went on in my head. Everything started to come much smoother. R was really struggling and it hurt to watch her do so. After some time on the spindle we each too a ride on the wheel. R had struggle with her roving. it was far too thick for the wheel - it wanted skinny yarn, and she was feeding it thick chunks of roving and it wasn't drafting too well.
I got on the wheel next and found the treadle difficult to master. It was single and I don't know how the double works - but I'm guessing it's smoother than this. By the end I was FINALLY getting the drafting to work well, and spinning some rather smooth yarn. Although with the wheel I was finding that I over spun a lot.
Assessment: I'll go back. I ordered some wool from Miss Babbs & will be getting some llama roving from a family friend who raises them. (4 ounces of each) I'm excited and my arm is a little sore from holding up the drop spindle but in a good way. Tomorrow while at the hair dresser - I might bring my new spindle instead of my knitting!