I’ve been just bursting to show this tutorial to you for ages now. I actually recorded this last summer and am just now getting it edited and put up for you. Can you believe it?
Why spin yarn?
Spinning yarn is sort of like… heaven. It’s soothing. It’s relaxing. It’s meditative. It’s centering. It helps you to focus on the now. Helps you forget yesterday and tomorrow and even today. You just zone out.
Spin spin spin
Spin spin spin
It’s really cool to put on some headphones so you’re not distracted and listen to soothing, ambient music while you spin.
The hum of the wheel. The steady rise and fall of the treadles. The whirring of the bobbin. I’d say it’s nigh unto hypnotic in a REALLY cool, safe, wonderful way.
Without further ado, here is the video… have a watch and then keep reading below.
The purpose of a wheel
So the main purpose of a wheel is to introduce twist in the wool (or other fiber) and then draw that newly made yarn onto your bobbin.
Once you finish with that, you can unwind the yarn from the bobbin onto a niddy noddy ( a funny looking wooden device for creating skeins of yarn) or an empty toilet paper roll. Ideally you’ll want to wind the yarn into a skein if possible (the back of a chair works great) and tie a few figure-8 strands of yarn around the skein so it doesn’t get tangled and then wash it and whack it. Literally. Whack it onto a table or the wall to set the fibers. Allow to dry.
I don’t get into plying in the video, but if you want to have a multiple-ply yarn, you just create several bobbins full of single ply yarn and then sit them on a lazy kate (a device for holding bobbins) and then you just twist the single ply strands in the opposite direction that you spun them. So if you spin all of your singles clockwise, you’ll want to ply them with the wheel going counterclockwise. Again, skein, wash and whack.
Your spinning wheel has obviously, the wheel.
The pedals are called treadles.
The posts driving the treadles (behind the wheel on mine) are called footmen.
The little thing holding the yarn is called the bobbin.
The bobbin sits in the thing with the hooks, which is the flyer.
The flyer setup has an orifice, which is the hole the yarn comes through.
The flyer setup sits between the two maidens, which sit on top of the horizontal bar, called the Mother of All. That felt like it should be capitalized. Not sure why. Seemed important.
The whorl attaches to the flyer.
The driveband is the cord that drives the wheel/bobbin/whorl.
And the tension knob adjusts the tension.
Types of wheels
My wheel is a 28″ Lendrum Saxony, double treadle, cherry wood. I stained it black walnut.
It is set up so that the flyer is on the left side. This works for me, as I’m right-handed.
There are many types of wheels. You’ll want to try some out if you can at your local yarn store.
I chose the lendrum as I felt it was my dream wheel. I’ve used 2 other wheels in my life and this one trumps them, even though one of the others was more expensive.
This spins like butter. Like cream. Like heaven. Like a dream.
There used to be a long (several year) wait time for these. I posted I wanted one in a forum on Ravelry.com and a lady contacted me 2 months later, saying she had one available.
I stained it. Sanded it. Oiled it. Sanded it. Oiled it. Sanded it. Oiled it. Waxed it.
This lil’ baby moved 4,000 miles with me to Alaska and each night, I made my brother and nephew carry in all the carefully wrapped parts, so my baby wouldn’t get cold out in the bleak, January, -40F trek through Canada.
You can use many different types of fibers. I’m using BFL; blue-faced leicester wool. It has a nice long staple length, which is great for beginner spinners.
To see my current roving offerings, you can have a click on over here and take a gander!
I hope you enjoyed this video! Please let me know your thoughts by commenting below!
What’s your favorite thing about spinning? If you haven’t tried it yet, what’s holding you back?
Have a good one!