I bought a hand painted drop spindle too. It has sheep painted on it. The owner of the store is going to let me get the hang of things before I make a decision about spinning for keeps. She has all different types of modern spinning wheels, so I think I'll learn what all the parts are named before I go looking for something to buy.
I'm also picking up an entire vocabulary of words like, spindle, and whorl, and niddy noddies, and staples, and andean plying, and well, the list goes on and on. It took forever to come up with the right spelling for niddy noddies because I thought it should be spelled knitty. What do I know? I'm a newbie again. A newbie with yarn she hand spun this morning.
I did the above sample skeins on the spinning wheel and I have a smaller sample done on the drop spindle. My goal is to practice a bit each day so I can show off at class next Saturday. I couldn't be more thrilled with my new endeavor. This is going to be fun. Before I knew it today, class time was over and I'd never once looked at my watch. Oh. Did I mention? I made 6 new friends and 3 of us there are nurses. The community with others of like interests was nice. We never once talked shop.
Because I have nothing better to do, I've started another site to journal my attempts at this ancient art form. Come see me at The Accidental Spinner.