How do I use a Spinning Wheel?

The whole reason for the selfsufficientish website was to offer a place where anyone can ask, HOW DO I...? So who knows why it has taken us so long to have a HOW DO I? section, but here it is. So if you want to know how to do anything selfsufficientish then here is the place to ask.
Post Reply
matowakan
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:03 pm
Location: Dorset UK

How do I use a Spinning Wheel?

Post: # 263999Post matowakan
Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:21 pm

I have today purchased for a low price an Ashford spinning wheel.Now I need to know how to spin.
Does anyone know of any courses in Dorset or of any good books that they would recommend.
I was shown a few years ago but have forgotten how to!
Would be grateful for any suggestions.

User avatar
Davie Crockett
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 230
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:48 pm
latitude: 52.12292
longitude: 2.30910
Location: Malvern, UK.
Contact:

Re: How do I use a Spinning Wheel?

Post: # 264001Post Davie Crockett
Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:42 pm

Loads of video footage here...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTrAVk2q ... re=related

Do you have carding paddles?
Time flies like an arrow; vinegar flies like an uncovered wine must.

matowakan
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:03 pm
Location: Dorset UK

Re: How do I use a Spinning Wheel?

Post: # 264012Post matowakan
Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:31 am

Thanks for the reply,yes I have carding panels,the wheel came with extras. I also have what I believe is a niddy noddy and loads of other bits of wood which I think is some form of loom,also several shuttles.
I have looked up what you suggest on youtube and I think it will be most helpful. :icon_smile:

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8610
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: How do I use a Spinning Wheel?

Post: # 264019Post Green Aura
Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:41 pm

If you have a look on the Interweave.com there's a whole section on spinning, including loads of free ebooks.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

User avatar
red
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 6513
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:59 pm
Location: Devon UK
Contact:

Re: How do I use a Spinning Wheel?

Post: # 264020Post red
Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:43 pm

Red

I like like minded people... a bit like minded anyway.. well people with bits of their minds that are like the bits of my mind that I like...

my website: colour it green

etsy shop

blog

User avatar
Niele da Kine
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:55 pm
latitude: 21.27
longitude: 157.82
Location: the middle of the ocean, aka "Hawaii"

Re: How do I use a Spinning Wheel?

Post: # 264671Post Niele da Kine
Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:41 pm

What fiber are you spinning? It's pretty easy to use a wheel if you've spun a bit with a drop spindle and kind of have a feel for how fiber wants to spin together. But it's okay to start directly on a wheel, too.

Set up your wheel to be used. Put the drive band from the big wheel to the largest whorl on the flyer and adjust the tension so the drive band is not slipping. Thread the starter lead from the bobbin out through the orifice. The starter lead is that bit of yarn already on the bobbin. Set the tension on the bobbin fairly loose so you can hold the end of the starter lead and still treadle the wheel without the bobbin lead being tugged from your hand. It should have a very slight pull to it but not a lot of pull. The spinning wheel shouldn't take the fiber from your hand - you have to sort of give it to the wheel, but that statement will make more sense after you've done it for a bit.

I use a loop on the end of my starter lead so when starting, a bit of the wool to be spun is pulled out from the wad of fiber and bent over the loop at the end of the starting lead. Hold the fiber where it bends over the loop so it won't pull off and slowly start treadling the wheel. Hold a tiny bit of tension on the lead and it should start twisting. Once the fiber starts twisting on the lead, draw back the fiber from the wad in your hand so there are fibers stretched between where your fingers are still holding the bit of fiber over the loop and the rest of the fiber in your hand. That area is called "the draw" and the amount of fiber in that area will determine how thick your yarn will be. Once the amount of fiber you want is drawn out from the wad of fibers, release your fingers holding the end of the starter lead and let the twist in the fiber run up into the fibers pulled out from the wad of fiber. Move your fingers that had been holding the end of the lead up to where the fiber isn't twisting as much as it comes out from the wad of fiber in your hand and do the whole process over again. Eventually, you'll end up with sort of a continuous motion where the fibers are being drawn out of the wad of fiber and being massaged as they go into the orifice of the wheel but it takes a bit of practice before you reach that stage.

If the fiber won't be drawn into the orifice and wind up on the bobbin, increase the tension on the bobbin brake a little bit. If it is snatching the fiber from your hand and pulling too much, make the tension a little less. Try to treadle slowly at first, it is easier that way. If the wheel keeps trying to go in reverse then lessen the tension a bit. Usually, I'll set mine so the tension on the bobbin just barely holds the spring upright or just a tiny bit extended but I usually spin pretty light fibers.

As you are feeding fiber onto your bobbin, stop the wheel occasionally and move the ply over to the next hook in line so your bobbin will fill up more evenly. Once you've filled up two bobbins, you can ply the singles together by spinning the wheel in the opposite direction from what you used when making the singles.

matowakan
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:03 pm
Location: Dorset UK

Re: How do I use a Spinning Wheel?

Post: # 264695Post matowakan
Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:44 am

Thanks Niele for all that info,much appreciated.
I am using Herdwick fleece which I have washed and carded as best as I can. I have done what you say and had a go at spinning but so far I am making what I understand to be a newbie mistake and getting too many twists or little bobbles in the wool so I know the tension from my hand is not right yet. But I will keep practising until I get it right! I still havnt got the fibers coming out of the wad right but it is very early days.
Thanks also about moving the ply to the next hook - I wondered why there were so many hooks!
Fiona

User avatar
Niele da Kine
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:55 pm
latitude: 21.27
longitude: 157.82
Location: the middle of the ocean, aka "Hawaii"

Re: How do I use a Spinning Wheel?

Post: # 264756Post Niele da Kine
Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:26 am

Aloha Fiona,

Sheep's fleece is a good fiber to start working with. It usually likes to become yarn.

Too many twists could be from treadling a bit too fast or not getting enough fiber out there into the draw fast enough. Treadle as slow as possible at first. Also the brake tension on the bobbin might want to be just a teeny bit tighter to pull the fiber in a bit more. As you practise you'll find the balance between fiber feed, treadling and tension. Plus all those things will change depending on what sort of yarn you want to make.

Little bobbles are mostly from the fiber handling part and not wheel adjustment. As you let the twist get into the draw area (the triangle of fiber from your fingers going towards the wheel) if it doesn't go in smoothly it will make little bobbles there. Eventually, you'll probably find your fingers going back and forth and sort of massaging the fiber as it goes into the orifice.

The fiber in your hand should be nice and loose and the fibers pulling from a wide area makes for less of the bobbles and keeps the fibers from getting tangled. It also keeps the fiber coming out of the hand easily, if you have to work to get the fiber out, then pull a bit of fiber out from somewhere else in the wad and start pulling fiber from that area instead.

Once you get half a bobbin full of spun singles, then fill up half of another bobbin. Then, put the bobbins in a Lazy Kate if you have one or drop them in a big jar if not and then spin the two singles together by spinning the wheel in the opposite direction you used to make the singles. A double ply yarn will even out the lumps and even out the twist, if it was over twisted a bit.

A hui hou,
Niele

becks77
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1439
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:49 pm
Location: Hailsham East Sussex

Re: How do I use a Spinning Wheel?

Post: # 264978Post becks77
Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:49 pm

The dorset guild of spinners should be able to help you out, our guild in East sussex are a very friendly bunch and taught me to spin
http://www.dorsetweaversspinnersdyers.org.uk

If you look down the side on the website there is also a tuition tab with some very useful links
:iconbiggrin:
"no-one can make you feel inferior without your permission"

User avatar
Niele da Kine
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:55 pm
latitude: 21.27
longitude: 157.82
Location: the middle of the ocean, aka "Hawaii"

Re: How do I use a Spinning Wheel?

Post: # 266724Post Niele da Kine
Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:08 am

I just borrowed a DVD from a friend titled "How I Spin" by Rita Buchanan. It's a brilliant DVD, very informative and lots of fun, too. She even covers how to wash wool and it is an enjoyable DVD.

matowakan
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:03 pm
Location: Dorset UK

Re: How do I use a Spinning Wheel?

Post: # 266774Post matowakan
Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:25 am

Think I will look out for that dvd,with the nights drawing in spinning seems a good bet to learn now!

Post Reply