My Kiwi has come!! (As you can see, Clara is excited, too.)
I went to Black Sheep Gathering with no expectation to even consider buying a new spinning wheel. Then I saw Janis Thompson's wildly painted Ashford Kiwi. She kindly allowed me to try it out and a new obsession was born. Not only was the wheel a cute little thing, but it would fit in the passenger seat of my Miata, without putting the top down. (My Ashford Traveller fits, but it can only be inserted or removed by taking down the top.) With the optional high-speed flyer, the wheel can reach 14:1, which is plenty fast for spinning at guild meetings or demonstrations. Most importantly, it is relatively inexpensive, and comes as an unfinished kit - perfect for doing a bit of customization. My plan is to treat it as an art project and decorate every inch of the thing!
I ordered my Kiwi from the fine folks at Woodland Woolworks. When the box was opened it revealed many bits and pieces. This is going to be quite a project! I hope to debut the finished wheel at the Nevada State Fair in August.