View Full Version : kromski wheel and drop spindle hell

06-12-2008, 01:57 PM
Hello, I have two questions/ comments- hopefully someone out there will relate to and thus be able to help!
I recently took a drop spindle class but haven't had much luck- when drafting, I tend to pull all of my yarn apart and either break it or make a terrible mess of things. Also, my spindle doesn't spin well- I think it might be too light weight for the fiber I am trying to spin... it is a cheap spindle that I got from taking the class... When I try to take the newly twisted yarn from the spindle it all comes undone and loses its twist... any suggestions?
On to wheels... I am thinking of getting a Kromski and was wondering if anyone has one and can comment on whether or not they like it? Any comments/ reviews on/ of Kromski and/ or other makes would be greatly appreciated! THANKS!!! :happydance:

06-12-2008, 05:07 PM
Hopefully I can help with both accounts.

When drafting, work with smaller bits of fiber at a time, drafting the fiber to the diameter you wish to spin with. A couple of YouTube videos



If you're making chunky yarn, your spindle may indeed be too light. I found a nifty gadget at the hardware store that has worked for me (and I just happened to have a couple in my purse and my camera here at work with me) I'm not sure what it is called but I put it under the whorl and it tightens with a rubber hex screw on the side. It gives a bit more weight to the spindle.


When removing your yarn from the spindle, keep it under tension. You may not have enough twist in the yarn either.

Wheels.... very subjective and very personal. The latest issue (summer 2008) of Spin Off has a great article on selecting your first wheel (http://www.interweave.com/spin/spinoff_magazine/)

My first wheel was an Ashford Traveller. A very sturdy, upright wheel. I got the double treadle, double drive with the optional scotch tension. It is a very versatile wheel that has taken me from a beginning spinner to one more advanced. I've had it for 6 years and it has been my main workhorse. I have a couple other wheels (70's era Ashford Traditional that I use for a student wheel, a couple antique wheels that rarely get used).

Recently I purchased a Kromski Sonata. My Traveller was still serving me well, but I needed (wanted) a wheel that I could take with me on airplanes. It is a double treadle, scotch tension. Folds down and fits inside it's own padded bag.

I've had a chance to spin on Louets and Schachts. I wasn't impressed with either myself, BUT I know Louet and Schacht owners that adore their wheels and aren't much impressed with the Ashford or Kromski.

For a wheel that will get you going without spending gobs of money, check out the Babe Wheels by Nels Wiberg http://www.babesfibergarden.com/ They're not much to look at, but they are great wheels and when you're ready to move on, there is always someone wanting to buy one.

06-12-2008, 10:37 PM
Thanks so much for the tips! It is much easier to draft smaller pieces and to get the fiber to the size I want before attempting to spin. Keeping the tension while taking the yarn off will take some practice but I am certainly up to it!
For some reason, I just love Kromski wheels... I saw a website dedicated to the Kromski factory (workshop more like) and I just loved the way things seemed to work there.
I like that Babe wheels are inexpensive and that they are made with the help of handicapped people but I just can't get over the PVC thing!
Have you ever spun angora rabbit or woolies?
Thank you, again! :)

06-13-2008, 09:04 AM
Each Kromski is signed and dated too!

I used to have angora rabbits. The doe would sit quietly in my lap and I could spin off her.

Found out I'm very allergic to them though, so had to sell them.

I haven't spun from woolies, but heard their fiber is very short. Nice for blending with other fiber, but not good to spin by itself.

It is NOT a fiber you would want to begin spinning with. It is a very slippery fiber and would probably make you more frustrated.

06-13-2008, 05:49 PM

I had terrible luck the first time I spun on a spindle--couldn't do it. Then, I forked out the $35 for a Kundert spindle and was able to spin a pretty darn nice yarn. Still, I thought there must be a better way.

Without trying my hand at a single wheel, I bought a Kromski Minstrel because I liked the way it would look in my house. How could I judge the feel of different spinning wheels when I didn't know how to spin? At a fiber fest I saw bunches of Kromski Sonata's being toted around (travelers taking spinning classes.) I asked why they liked the Kromski over other wheels. Their answers must have been convincing, because I came home and bought one. Besides, Brooklyn Tweed (http://brooklyntweed.blogspot.com/2007_08_01_archive.html) (8/01/07) had just gotten a Minstrel, and if it was good enough for him, I knew it would work for me. I wanted the wheel to be able to go with me in my car and the Minstrel does that very easily.

I love, love, LOVE it! I was able to spin a nice, knittable yarn on the first go.

06-20-2008, 10:18 PM
Thank you for the help! I am sorry that my reply is so late- I have 2 kids at home and a garden and thus very little time! I spun a little cat hair the other day and I was very surprised that it spun so well- especially because the cat is a short- hair (Siamese). I think I have settled on the Mazurka because it is small and inexpensive for all that it has to it. It also looks rather neat!

06-20-2008, 10:26 PM
callmesusan- thanks for the reply and the review of your Minstrel. In the end it was between the Minstrel and the Mazurka- I am pretty sure I am going to go with the Mazurka because it is lighter, smaller, comes with lots of free stuff, is very inexpensive and has that second wheel (I just LOVE that wheel within a wheel thing!)
It is helpful to know what people like and don't like as far as wheels go because- even if you get an inexpensive one- it is still an investment and how much you like it can influence how much you like spinning! It is difficult to find reviews so thanks!
What fiber(s) do you like to spin?
I like the way the Kundert spindles look and will be buying one soon. Thanks again and sorry that it has taken me so long to reply!

06-20-2008, 11:03 PM
I asked here about fiber after I got my wheel. I was sent to Spunky Eclectic (http://www.spunkyeclectic.com/shop.php?crn=212). I ended up joining her Fiber of the Month Club (http://www.spunkyeclectic.com/shop.php?crn=277), which is like having Christmas come every month (and all for me!) Each month I get 4oz. of a special colorway in various types of wool. That way I am able to try my hand at many different wools.

I have also ordered from GalesArt (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5353128) and Dragon Fiber (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5068540&section_id=5073724) (the picture I posted in the green colorway.) Etsy has gobs of beautiful fiber. Oh; I also received some lovely BFL fiber from Wooly Wonka Fibers. (http://www.woolywonkafibers.com/fibers.php)

Blue Face Leicester (http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/bluefacedleicester/index.htm) has a long staple and was recommended to me as a good fiber to learn on. I have had great success with this fiber and it is soooo soooooft.

Sounds like you have your hands full with the kiddos and garden. I hope you can sneak in some spinning during naps!