If you're having difficulty learning it's probably the wheel as much as it is you. If possible get an experienced spinner to check your wheel and
make adjustments. Look at the wheel from all angles yourself. It helps if someone gently treadles while you watch from various angles. If you see
obvious misalignments investigate and adjust.
Be sure you are sitting comfortably. Do not allow tension to build up in the neck, particularly when concentrating hard while learning. Avoid
Until around the seventies most spinners learnt one way to spin one fibre on one wheel. Now every fibre imaginable is available, from muskox to
semi-synthetic seaweed. A great variety of wheels and spindles are available. Information on various spinning methods is easily found through youtube
etc. This huge choice can be confusing.
If you don't use animal fibres I suggest starting with natural flax top.
3Prweo Buy tiny samples of other vegan fibres before committing yourself to bulk purchase. Some will require considerable skill to spin.
For non-vegans nothing beats British Wool. Cheap, cheerful, much of it easy to spin. And it will keep you warm in the coming ice age. Something like
this. www.worldofwool.co.uk... Shop around for the best deal.
To be fair I have to warn you learning to spin is of a similar complexity to learning to drive. Some pick it up almost instantly, some take months,
even years. Most people struggling away on their own are actually using a wheel that an experienced spinner would have trouble with. Get it checked by
an experienced spinner!
Make her some nice drop spindles and see how she gets
When a nomad wants a piece of string they'll pluck a bit of fibre from one of their livestock, twist the first few inches of yarn by hand, tie it
around a stone, and set the stone spinning. That's why ancient people liked stones with holes in.
Look around for a secondhand Ashford Traditional wheel. If you come across a good wheel of another make hopefully you'll recognise it as such. But
beware, there are duds out there. Sometimes someone hasn't ever got the hang of spinning and they sell their wheel. But actually the wheel is a dud or
needs attention. A lot of woodworkers have made nice wheels but if they don't understand spinning it may not be as good as it could be. It has to be
good because of the time spinning takes.
If you find an Ashford Traditional in good condition it's probably going to be good but may require fine tuning which takes a bit of understanding.
All the information is there online. It's simple really.
You won't get a good new wheel that's cheap because of all the work that goes into making a reliable and finely tuned machine.
a reply to: TinySickTears
I was the same boat as your wife last year. I actually started with a pencil secured through an old instructional cd! Then, I Google the free DODEC
spinning wheel online. I made my spinning wheel for under $12 and that was just the cost of materials. The blueprints and instructions were free
online as well as how to videos. It is simplistic but very workable for a newbie spinner. I fell in love with spinning wool straight from the wool
locks! It was very relaxing and you are able to ply your yarn with the wheel too. All in all, if your wife or even you don't like spinning wool...you
wouldn't have invested so much. The nice thing about building it yourself...is you really begin to understand the whole process.
If your wife really loves spinning...then down the road, obviously you may want to buy one of those store models or even spend more and build another
Good luck in your spinning adventures! I know I am still enjoying mine.
edit on 10 18 2015 by CynConcepts because: (no reason
This is a great solution to the 'first wheel' problem. There are so many wheels that were bought and hardly used. They often end up stored, or on
display, for ten or twenty years before they'e sold. Often by then the extra bobbins are missing and bearings may have become corroded. There are good
secondhand wheels available at very reasonable cost but it takes knowledge to be sure it's a good buy.
This ambitious spinner has modified her dodec to accept a bobbin and flyer.www.youtube.com...
Once I understood the revolutions ratio of the spinning spindle, I ended up making two more, one smaller and one larger for changing up the tension of
my plying. I admit I still just use a couple of tubs on the floor to hold my bobbins separated while plying. Also, I still use the crafty paper
bobbins on the spindle. You never will not have one. Just use a spindle (dowel) roll paper and tape. Now, your yarn comes right off the spindle with
ease and you can keep spinning more. Hmm...let me see if I can find the instructions for that. (Can you tell I like thrifty solutions?)
Edit add: Drats...couldn't find instructions with quick search. Mainly, I use a 8 1/2 inch piece of paper and divide it into 3 sections. Simply row
each section, corner to corner and apply small piece of scotch tape to secure center. They are amazingly durable and last a long time but like I said,
easily replaceable when you need more.
edit on 10 18 2015 by CynConcepts because: (no reason given)
her friend has sent her a drop spindle. it should be here any day now.
i am not against spending the long money to get her a nice one but i dont want to get ripped and i dont know what is good or not.
i do not have the time to mess with making one.
would rather buy
probably for christmas
The difference between a spindle wheel and a flyer wheel.
The spindle wheel is simple to construct.
The flyer and bobbin assembly for a flyer wheel is more complex.
When large spindle wheels were in common use industrious spinners would walk, skip, run or dance many miles a day while spinning. Now it is very rare
to find an accomplished Great Wheel spinner. Anyone wanting to break new ground in the spinning world may like to consider the challenge. Could you
learn to spin on a Great Wheel faster than this lady? Skip to 1:26
The flyer wheel allows you to spin almost continually while the mechanism draws the spun yarn in. The mechanism has to function smoothly. It takes
time to make. That's why a new flyer wheel is expensive. If someone could make a cheaper one they would.
Ashford Traditional. The back-up, spares, info available is second to none.
Most professional spinners here will have a nice, probably relatively expensive and delicate wheel at home, and an Ashford Traditional for public use.
When the crazy kid runs into your Ashford and knocks it flying you just pick it up, slot the bits back in, and carry on spinning. It's perfectly
capable of most spinning needs. You only need better when you get really fast and keen. That can take years.
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.