Spinning Wheel Question

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What would be the best wheel for a beginner. They are expensive and I want something that I will be happy with as a beginner but also when I progress more.

-- Lucy (lucy@yahoo.com), March 07, 2002


Hi Lucy, there is no one best wheel. Every spinner has their favorite. The best thing that you can do is go to a shop and try several different wheels to see which one you like best. Take into consideration single or double treadle, double drive or scotch tension or double drive with a scotch tension option. This will probably depend on what you learned on. I learned on a double drive and I prefer it, but many people recommend a scotch tension for a beginner. The only reason that I can see for that is that the bobbins are slightly easier to change, but I never had any problem learning to change a bobbin. What kind of yarn you want to spin also is a consideration when selecting a wheel. Finer yarns require higher ratios than bulky yarn. Ashford wheels are very popular and they are relatively inexpensive. They offer a lot of options and you can add things to your original wheel to make it more versatile. I have an Ashford Traveller as my primary spinning wheel, BUT it would not be my wheel of choice were money no object. My friend is a highly skilled machinist and has modified it to spin better. If he had not done this for me I would not be happy with this wheel. Before it was modified it was noisy and "sloppy", I considered selling it. Many spinners like Louet, I have never spun on one, I don't care for the look of them. You should get a catalog from the Woolery, they have some suggestions for selecting a wheel. Nothing can substitute for a test drive though. I tried a Hall wheel, they are handmade wheels, at a fiber fair last fall and they are a dream. I cannot forsee ever being able to afford one, but I enjoyed the test drive. Check out the Spinner's and Weaver's Housecleaning pages for used wheels and you might find exactly what you are looking for. The web address is, homepages.together.net/kbruce/kbbwheel.html. I hope this is helpful and if I can answer any questions, please feel free to ask me, I would be happy to answer if I can.

-- nancy (stoneground@catskill.net), March 08, 2002.

I love the Louets. They have a modernistic styling, but are very simple and easy to use, less time fooling around adjusting the thing, and more time spinning happily. There is no mystery about them, everything is right there and very easy to understand. I guess you get spoiled by the type you learn on, after the Louet I tried a friend's Ashford, and I just didn't like it. Seems like it pulled the wool too fast, or needed a lot of fussing to work well, or something. They are nicer looking though, more colonial style.

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), March 09, 2002.

My first wheel was an Ashford Traditional. It is still my favorite wheel for these reasons. It is easy to use, and very expandable. I never have a hard time finding parts or doing any repair work myself. I also have never had any need to do any repair work other than tension band or drive band. I am hard on my wheels, always hauling them around to demos, and meetings. Although this wheel does not break down for easier transport that for me is also a plus. I don't leave parts behind and I can just pick it up and go. I can spin very fine to big chunky yarns. I did purchase a high speed flyer and can now spin finer yarns. I bought mine used from a friend who taught me how to spin about 10 years ago. I also have a Country Craftsman, I like this wheel but I think it might be harder to learn on. I do know people who have learned on CC wheels and love them.


-- Susan in MN (nanaboo@paulbunyan.net), March 09, 2002.

The wheel I bought is the Louet Sl0. (I also have an old wheel that had belonged to my great-grandmother, but I don't spin on that one.) The Sl0 is very easy to put together and to use. It is available online through WEBS in Mass. I ordered my drum carder through them and have been very happy with everything I've ever ordered from them. Hope this helps.

-- Kris in Wisc (kkwoestman@yahoo.com), March 19, 2002.

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