I've been having lots of fun playing with my new wheel. I'm definitely getting faster, but still not so even. I haven't been trying to spin very fine singles yet, but that's the next challenge now that I have a better feel for what I'm doing.
Last Friday I was at home waiting for the tree guys to come (they didn't - it was, yet again, raining). So I took this:
Woodland Woolworks Colonial Heather Wool top in Dark Red, to try as my next spin. I split the top in half and spun each half from the end, without any further predrafting or splitting of the top. It spun pretty easily up into two bobbins of this:
and ended up plied into a 2-ply. I used the plying head for my wheel, and didn't much like it at all. Yes, it's got a huge mother bobbin on it that will hold a lot of yarn, but I found it made the wheel very hard to treadle. I would get going and then get hung up at the top of the treadle stroke. In order to keep the wheel spinning I needed to treadle with a lot of force. I suspect operator-error in this - clearly I have not yet figured out how to adjust things optimally - but am still feeling sorry for myself (plus I gave myself a blister on the side of my big toe where it was rubbing against the side of the treadle).
This last picture is closest to the actual color (at least on my screen). I soaked the skein in hot hot hot water, swishing occasionally as the water cooled down and I could stick my hands in, then squeezed out the excess water and hung it to dry. Before washing the plied yarn was 7-8 wpi (let's hear it for super bulky!). Whatever I do next (probably the July Hello Yarn fiber option), I'm definitely splitting the roving down to aid in getting some thinner singles. This yarn is destined to be a Christmas present for someone, maybe this?
ETA: post-wash, 8-9 wpi, 4 oz/113 gr, 108 yds.