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 Beginner wheel??
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Deeda
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  6:58:52 PM  Show Profile Send Deeda a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fantastic information! Thank you, Donna, for asking this question. A friend and I are just about ready to go looking for our first spinning wheel and we are about as lost as you can be. Fortunately we live in a great area for fiber artists so we have had some good advise but the folks here are all such pros and haven't spoken about what they learned on. Thank you everyone for great ideas.
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
545 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2014 :  07:10:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I found the answer to my question about the hooks on Ask the Bellwether ... so far the only place I've seen this addressed (but then, since I do not yet have a wheel, I haven't seen a manual, which probably explains it): the hooks on BOTH sides are used (for anyone else who may be uninformed). They are usually offset from each other, so one uses the hooks down one side of the flyer and then moves to the other side of the flyer to fill in all the little "valleys" made while winding on using hooks on the first side. Now that I look more closely at the diagram on one set of plans I have, I see there are 7 hooks on one side and 8 on the other; I didn't even notice that before.

I still plan to stick to a sliding hook (infinite positions), but at least now I know more about the procedure!

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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Shelia
Permanent Resident

USA
2366 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2014 :  08:45:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm just back from Antarctica, Robinstephanie, and have been re-entering normal life! Seriously, it takes a few days after 3+ weeks away.

I like every one of the wheels mentioned so far, some more than others but they are all good. You will learn to spin on a wheel with whichever one you get, and the first wheel for most spinners is the gateway drug. Unless you decide spinning is not for you, and contrary to some popular opinions all knitters don't need to be spinners, there will be more or other wheels in your future. For this reason I usually advise buying a good used wheel as a first wheel. If you are worried about getting help or parts for a used wheel, buy a widely used brand such as Ashford, Lendrum, or Majacraft. Wheels are sturdy and hold their resale value, so generally a used wheel will spin with only a little (or none needed) TLC, and if it's not the perfect wheel for you it can be re-sold when a different wheel is found.

For a first wheel that is easy to spin on, Scotch tension (a wheel drive system with separate adjustment bands or strings for the brake and the drive wheel) is often recommended. Louet wheels (except for the Julia and Victoria) and some others use Irish or bobbin lead tension which has a much stronger "pull-in" of the fiber being spun so they can be a bit more of a challenge for a beginner, but are certainly still possible to learn on. Double drive wheels are often but not always Saxony (fairy tale style, a largish wheel on the side of a board called a table, flyer and bobbin can be to the right or left of the drive wheel) style, and while not always recommended people have been learning on them for hundreds of years. The drive/brake band is a large continuous figure 8 that adjusts both, for some it is fiddly but others prefer this system. Double or single treadle is really just a personal preference, I have and spin comfortably on both. Sliding or fixed hooks are again a personal preference, I like the minute adjustments possible with sliding hooks but its easy to slide too far or not enough, or forget in the zen of spinning and get a big lump!

If you are still deciding and it seems there are so many choices, buy a used wheel for a fair price ($300-400 for Ashfords and most Louets, $500-600+ for Majacrafts, Schacts and Lendrums) that you can replace with a dream wheel down the road and not lose money on when you sell it. I am not a big fan of Kromski wheels and they don't hold their value as well, except the Sonata, but they are widely available used as well. I do have a strong preference for valuing wheels as tools rather than for pretty, and that's often the reason beginners start with Kromski wheels, and probably why there are so many used ones available.

Shelia
www.breezyridgestudio.com
ravelry name - sheliaknits
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
545 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2014 :  5:58:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Shelia, you have 28 spinning wheels? TWENTY-EIGHT? I think I may have at least that many spindles ...

Thank you for more food for thought. While I certainly appreciate a beautifully hand-crafted "furniture" item, I am really more interested in something that will get the job done here, at least while I'm learning.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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Shelia
Permanent Resident

USA
2366 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2014 :  10:50:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Donna, my wheels run the gamut from antique to modern, custom made to an Ashford traditional, and some are always loaned out to beginners. They just multiply!

Good luck with your wheel being made, it may need some tweaking as the mechanics can seem simple but there are subtleties to great wheel action. Let us know when it's finished and post a photo, maybe at the KR group on Ravelry, so we can all see it.

Shelia

Shelia
www.breezyridgestudio.com
ravelry name - sheliaknits
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1257 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2014 :  09:26:23 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Shelia, welcome home, and WOW, Antarctica. That is so cool. I want to ask a ton of questions, but maybe in another thread. I hope you had an amazing time!

And I knew you'd have a ton of helpful info to add to this discussion. I always learn great spinning lore when you chime in.



Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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