View Full Version : I've got a wheel....now what?

10-17-2007, 09:36 AM
OK...I don't actually have the wheel YET...I just won the auction last night and I am SO excited:woot::woot::woot:

I won an Ashford Traditional Single Drive, Single Treadle for $147 plus shipping which will be $70 from the Netherlands. It is missing a few parts (the drive band, tension screw, spring) but I know I can get those relatively inexpensively.

I am so excited to begin, but I don't know where to start. Does anybody know of a good website that can teach me the basics of learning to spin on a wheel?

Also, I plan to wait until I actually get the wheel before I order any parts because I want to make sure I get all the parts I need, but having never spun before, I'm afraid to miss something. I've got the list from the seller, but will it be obvious if I'm missing something that they didn't tell me about?


10-17-2007, 12:30 PM
I also have just bought this wheel, but have not received it yet. I like http://www.joyofhandspinning.com/ to learn how to spin. I am having a really hard time with how much spin to put in the fiber. One time it is over twisted and the next there isn't enough twist. It probably just takes practice.

10-17-2007, 07:44 PM
Ask around to see if there are any spinning guilds in your area, they are always ready to help, or so I'm told. There aren't too many spinners in south Georgia so I have learned by watching videos online and online friends. I would love to have a live person to spin with, I think I'll have to get someone else hooked. :teehee:

10-18-2007, 06:34 AM
The ashford website has a parts list and assembly guides online. The ashford traditional you're getting may be a little different from the one currently being sold, but it should still be a helpful tool even if it is.


as for spinning guilds, I know that the spinoff site has a list:


10-18-2007, 09:13 AM
When I teach spinning I have the students go through some real 'boring' stuff that really seems to help in the long run.

Before even putting fiber to the wheel, practice your treadling. It's real easy to get the wheel going fast and keep it going but when you spin fiber, unless you have well drafted fiber (and experience), you won't be able to keep up with the speed of the wheel.

So... practice treadling, trying to keep the wheel going in the same direction s-l-o-w-l-y! It's okay to use your hand to get the wheel going, but remember that you'll need both hands to draft.

If you have another person that is willing to help, sit at the wheel barefoot or stocking foot resting on the treadle. have the other person turn the big wheel slowly. Close your eyes and feel the treadling pattern. Don't try to treadle yourself. This will help you get the 'feel' of your wheel instinctively.

Once you can treadle with the wheel going to the right, stop it (with your treadle), and reverse it.

When you feel comfortable treadling with your wheel, attach the end from a skein of cheap acrylic yarn. 'Spin' that yarn onto your bobbin. The function of this excersize is to a) get use to the feel of fiber going through your hands, b) learn the adjustments of brake and whorl selection. Don't try to hold the yarn back, just let it slip through your fingers.

Time to add some real fiber! Attach a leader to your bobbin. I like making a loop at the end of the leader to fold the fiber in the loop and back on the fiber to 'catch' it. Make sure you have a length of fiber that is well drafted so you won't have to worry about drafting while treadling and concentrating on the take up onto the bobbin.

You're spinning!!!

10-18-2007, 04:41 PM
Thank you, Cyndi! That's perfect. I thought I had heard or read somewhere about "spinning" cheap acrylic first to get the feel of the wheel. I've got plenty of that!