Spinning Wheel Suggestions, ideas, etc.

teejtc's picture

Dear gurus....

I'm hoping to attend the Michigan Fiber Festival next weekend and one of my goals is to try out a bunch of spinning wheels. I'm not planning on buying right now, I'm just trying to learn enough so that, as I get closer to buying one, I'll be educated about what I'm doing.

First, I'll admit, I've already fallen in love with the Mach1, and I'm trying to make sure I don't commit myself to something ignorantly - I just tell you this to be honest.

Secondly, what I'm hoping you'll help me with is suggestions. I'm hoping some of you may give me some suggestions of things that I simply "must try" (if possible). For the record, I'm 5'9"... reasonably comfortable with both left and right hands.

Anything you'd suggest I really check out? Looking forward to your wisdom!

Grace and peace,


Blankie's picture

Kromski Symphony I ended up

Kromski Symphony

I ended up buying a Kromski Symphony several years ago--the price was really good, the look is very traditional, and it was large enough for my body size--I'm 6'1" and some wheels felt too cramped. I also like that there are no plastic parts on the Kromskis so if you're into historical demos and such, they are appropriate.

I did find that the castle version of the Kromski (the mazurka I think) tended to be a bit top heavy and tended to feel like they were going to tip over. I also found that some lighter wheels moved alot when I was spinning. Again, I'm not a small delicate person, so I might have been a bit more rough on them.

I've also never gotten the hang of scotch tensioning... something else to consider.

Thor's picture

TJ, I believe that I am

TJ, I believe that I am going to be attending the Allegan festival on Sunday. Perhaps I'll see you there!

kylewilliam's picture

I have a kromski mazurka

I have a kromski mazurka that I still don't really know how to use... but I love it and *have* spun on it... I tried a Majacraft rose and couldn't make it work at all... in the end, the best advice is to try out all kinds of wheels and pick the one you like the best - there are so many different models to select from...

and then, you gotta use it.. (which I don't... yet)



PeterMark's picture

Tim, I don't spin. I mean,


I don't spin. I mean, some days my head does, but I don't spin fiber. I do just have to remark though that I love your opening, "Dear Gurus" how fitting for this bunch of talented, knowledgeable men!


teejtc's picture

The people around her ARE

The people around her ARE incredible, aren't they?! I count this website one of my favorite "places" in the world; the ONLY thing I regret is that I haven't met a single one of the people on this board in "real" life - yet ;-)

Grace and Peace,

MMario's picture

That's because most of us

That's because most of us are Turing Applets that exist only in cyberspace.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

teejtc's picture

If any kind of an applet can

If any kind of an applet can make the kind of things you guys make, take a bite out of me and call me tart!


Grace and Peace,

Donski's picture

Just as a point a double

Just as a point a double treadle doesn't require you to use both feet.. one will do :) But it gives you the option of starting and stopping the wheel using your other foot. This can be invaluable at times it simply means you wont need to lean forward to use your hands to get the wheel spinning again... just bring your left foot into play to stop the wheel or get it going again and then continue using one foot ! I wouldn't be without my double treadle now I have used one :)

teejtc's picture

This is actually a question

This is actually a question I had... Do I read you right that a double-treadle doesn't REQUIRE the use of both feet? Theoretically, You could use a single one of the double treadles?

Grace and Peace,

Andy's picture

Another thing is the size of

Another thing is the size of the treadle (says bigfoot here).

"Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium."

Donski's picture

yep, thats right you get the

yep, thats right you get the same effect using one foot on just one of the treadles ie: the wheel goes round teehee. What the double treadle allows you to do is stop and start the wheel immediately without touching it. You also have a lot more control if you do use 2 feet for maybe spinning a really loose or tight yarn. I always thought the same, ie: you had to use two feet until I got one and realised errr.. you can still use one foot :) much easier, as someone said here, as I tend to spin with the wheel off to my right side.

potterdc's picture

Hi Tim, I have a Louet S10

Hi Tim,

I have a Louet S10 that I bought in 1985 and still use on a regular basis. It is a solid, simple, functional machine, easy to move around. I throw it in the car and take it with me when we go away for weekends.

I too have a bias towards single treadle spinning wheels - it simply gives me more options about where I'm going to place my body. I seem to prefer to not have the spinning wheel directly in front of me when I spin. If I have it a little off to my right I can get a longer draw.

Having one spinning wheel that still pleases me to no end, I haven't been shopping around so I don't know what's out there, but if I were looking, here's what I'd consider:

1) How many parts does the wheel have? How affordable are replacement parts?
2) How portable is it?
3) How functional? ie, can it spin fine to chunky? short staple cotton to churro wool?

Hope this is helpful. Have fun at the Michigan Fiber Festival. If you happen across the Butterfly Electric Wheel, oogle it a little for me, would you? It's on my dreamlist - the first electric wheel that ever got my attention. At $900 though it will be a while!!!

Take care,
Jonathan in DC

Think less, enjoy it more.

Mnjack's picture

How timely. I am going to be

How timely. I am going to be attending the Seastern Animal Fiber Fair in Oct. and am taking a beginning spinning class. I too have been researching wheels and so far have been leaning toward the Ashford. Of course I do not plan to buy until I find out if I can spin. Will let you know the outcome.

Andy's picture

It's good that you mention

It's good that you mention your height as I've seen so many great wheels, but a little too low for me. Try out as many as you can. Another point to remember is one or two pedals (can't remember the technical word!). I find that I can only spin using one foot, so a two-pedalled wheel is out of the question. It's not just foot space, but also knee space.
Is there a spinning club /guild nearby where you can try some out more to your leisure?

"Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium."

Donski's picture

I have a couple of Ashford

I have a couple of Ashford wheels, the traditional and the "Joy". The Joy is a lovely little wheel, light and portable and small enough to leave in the lounge folded just waiting for when you are in the spinning mood. I have found it easy to spin on with really nice ratios for different wool types. As it is so portable you can take it along to spin meets and classes, very handy to have classes on your own wheel.
I presume you have Ashford wheels in the USA so I would recommend this little wheel for a try, I really love mine :)