I have on my desk the Yarn Harlot's page-a-day calendar called Never Not Knitting and yesterday she was espousing sympathy with old Ned Ludd, knitter and smasher of that heinous object the knitting machine.
I'd have to say that although I love my spinning wheel and prefer to hand-knit over machine knitting, I'm not in agreement with her. You see I'm a lazy crafter. I like to get my crafting materials when they're ready to use. Not for me the bags of filthy, smelly, just off the sheep fleece. I like my fibre all clean and combed and preferably in a nice pretty colour - all ready for me to spin with. Of course I can wash a fleece and card it if I need to, I just choose not to. I can even dye it if I want, but why go to all that trouble when there's usually someone more talented and with more time on their hands who can do it for me.
When I sit down to spin (or to knit, or quilt or weave) I want all the enjoyment of the craft without all the hard work. If I've only got half an hour to spend I want to be spinning - not up to the elbows in greasy water! So I'm thankful for all the machines - the washers, carders, combers, blenders and industrial dye-baths that produce the fibre I like to spin with.
Agree with the Luddites - never!