December 4th, 2008

The Hardware - My Wheel Babies

I first learnt how to spin on an Ashford Traveller which I bought second-hand from a lady  in Oxford.  I spun many yarns on that wheel, but I hankered after something with a more stable base. 

Then one day I saw an advert for a used Timbertops Leicester, of course I went to have a look and it was love at first sight.  I have had this wheel for about 12 years now and it is so versatile.  It is double drive, single treadle (I prefer single treadle) and has a range of whorls so the ratio is great to spin thick yarn to very fine yarn.  The wood is a lovely warm oak and it gets an annual linseed oil soak and polish which keeps the wood glowing.

I sold the Traveller, thinking I could manage taking the Leicester to and from meetings and fairs, but when the Ashford Kiwi first came out, I thought it would be great for teaching new spinners and also would be useful for demonstrating.  I also got the jumbo flier and the fine flyer, so it was a very useful little workhorse.  Unfortunately it was my first double treadle wheel and it was very uncomfortable for me to use - I have a temperamental back and the posture just didn't work for me, so I sold it on.

That left me without a wheel that I could carry around with me so I was most delighted when Ashford made their Joy wheel.  I bought one (of course) and now use that for basic spinning and for carrying around.

I also owned a proper Indian box charkha which came from India and loved to spin cotton on it.  Unfortunately my ex husband sold it and I am seriously thinking of buying a new one.

I made my own niddy-noddy out of dowling and a stair bannister rail when I first learnt to spin and used that for many years.  That broke during a house move, so I need to get a new one of those as well.

Well, apart from dye pots and carders, I think that is a round up of the hardware I have used over the years, the next post will be about the software, the lovely fibres that have passed through my hands and are planned to pass through them again.

Oh, it is lovely to be spinning again!