I just happened to be traveling near Mount Albert, Ontario, today, which coincidentally is where Gemini Fibres is located if you're not just visiting it online.
If you're in the market for spinning-related things you need to try out in person, it can be very helpful to persuade your preferred traveling companions to visit someplace or other that is near Mount Albert so you can stop in on the way home and acquire same (bwa ha ha ha ha).
In my case, it was spindles:
Seriously. Plying on my little beginner spindle was making me crazy - I'd do all that work to make a really nice long single, and then I'd ply it and have to take the scissors to all my hard work because the spindle would fill before the singles were done! Buying a bigger spindle specifically for plying was clearly indicated. At the same time, my beginner spindle is far too heavy for delicate fibers like the alpaca that's waiting for me to do something with it. I needed a much lighter spindle for that sort of thing.
So here's the new setup:
Delicate fibers will be spun on the beautiful Tom Forrester spindle and plied on my beginner Ashford; heavier ones will be spun on the beginner Ashford and plied on the giant Ashford. It's not pretty, but it should do the job until I get good enough at spinning to treat myself to another special one like the Tom Forrester.
Now, if you can go into a fibery store needing just one thing and leave with just said thing you are a better person than I. Though I admit I was thinking about more fiber when I went in so it's probably not totally horrible that I gave in to these:
I was told at the time that Polwarth fiber spins up like baby yarn and drafts out much like merino, which was more than good enough for me to get carrying them to the counter. But when I got it home and opened a bag?
I mean, beautiful as this looks, it's nothing to how it feels. It's like - well, as snuggly as you'd expect vanilla fudge to be when it just begins to thicken and get a deeper lustre, if it were snuggly and not sticky.
Maybe speechless was better. I cannot wait to get it onto a spindle... only I'm in the middle of a wodge of red Fleece Artist stuff, so I have to wait. Or spin really fast. Guess which I'm doing?