The greatest interest my husband has shown in the fiber arts is in spinning on a wheel. It’s a MACHINE! (Spindles, not so much. LOL)
I am a spindle spinner. I don’t see me getting a wheel any time soon because of what they cost. Two of my spindles are 3D printed. My best one was a prize – a Turkish made by Buckeye Spindles out of a rare and beautiful wood. It’s my best spindle by far.
That’s a stunner. Confession time: I have 6 wheels: Ashford traditional (1st), Hansen e-spinner (2nd), Majacraft Rose (3rd), Finnish antique (gift from boyfriend) (4th), all metal spinning wheel (National Custom Spinning Wheel (no wood expansion/contraction issues so good through winter and came with a 6-ply kate!!! (5th) and one antique wheel in pieces from my brother. My spindle collection is upwards of 35, and my current go-to spindles are Forresters, as they have a sturdy hook, great spinning time, and survive occasional drops on the subway as well as travelling in my purse. Some of my other spindles have found this too rough an environment, but not my Forresters.
I’m confessing, because potential spinners should understand that there is so much beauty and craftsmanship in the tools in the spinning world here that they may be overwhelmed. I know I have been.
I love all my tools, including the several combs and cards…
I call all this my other Retirement 401K.
Please check out KBBspin.org if you are looking to buy or sell spinning stuff. I am not affiliated, but it is a great on-line resource.
You are right… a used wheel might be doable. And hey, if you can buy six wheels without having to take out a second mortgage, who am I to say nay?
I’m a member of a spinning guild, so I should just save up towards the occasion when someone decides to sell off a wheel.
That’s actually really cool. Does it work as well as one commercially bought?
Yes. I made a little ledge on the back but it’s not needed if you have some other way to anchor the board as you draft your rolags/punis. All of them are blending cloth stapled onto a board. The TPI is the same.
Thanks so much for your help!
I’m having so much fun reading all of these entries on spinning. I just recently took up drop spindling, and am getting all of my instruction through youtube videos and dvds. I’m loving learning about the tools that other spinners here are using. I didn’t even know what a blending board was! The pictures of the sheep, the gorgeous fiber and pretty collection of spindles made my day. I have already got quite a collection of drop spindles. I’m really enjoying my turkish spindles and a couple of top whorl spindles (one is a Priscilla Gibson Roberts spindle that looks like a UFO -the alien kind). I watched all of the youtube videos by Lois Swales (Spin Like a Viking, Spin Like You’re Scottish, etc), which are all very entertaining and informative. That sent me to etsy for a dealgan spindle (3 actually)- which spin like a little tornados and are so much fun. Not sure that I’m going to be able to get much yarn in the cop at one time because the shaft is short, but it’s fun. Also, I haven’t plied any of it into yarn yet. Just enjoying the spinning so far.
Agree about Lois Swales’s videos! I get a big kick out of her.
Yes! My hubby is an engineer…it’s so fascinating to watch him trying to figure out how it works.
So, I’m a college student with a small budget - not a lot of money to spend on spinning fiber and I certainly don’t have the money to spend on fiber that I’ll hate or won’t be able to use (like matted or felted).
My local yarn shop carries 4 ounce bags of fiber in various colors for $9, but I’m already sick of the colors they have - I’ve spun SO. MUCH. of them. I’m really just looking for something about in that price point ($10 - $15) that’s a different color (and maybe a different fiber?)
Does anyone have a recommendation for fiber that is cheap, comes in a reasonable amount of colors, and that is quality enough (not looking for anything luxury, just useable) that I should try?
Thanks so much in advance.
@kunzler.katie, is any of this available fiber undyed? You could branch into koolaid dyeing or dyeing with Wilton food colors. It’s easy to learn how.
Another path is to purchase a fleece or some part of a fleece. Cleaning it is not hard, just takes time and patience.
I like to buy fiber from Hudson Valley Sheep and Wool Company. (http://www.hudsonvalleysheepandwoolco.com/home.html) I live about 45 minutes away so go in person, but they also ship. They have fiber from their own flock of Shetland and Icelandic sheep, both dyed and natural. They also carry several other lines of fibers. I get their Dye-Pot Medleys, and they’re about $10 for 4oz, if I remember correctly. The website isn’t great, but they also have a Facebook page, and the people who run the place are fantastic and can answer questions and make recommendations if you contact them.
I’ve also bought fiber from Webs (www.yarn.com) and Spunky Eclectic (http://www.spunkyeclectic.com). The latter might be a bit more than you’re looking to spend, but the colors are gorgeous and great to put on your holiday wish list, if you have anyone who would be willing to gift to you.
I actually haven’t asked if there is any undyed fiber available, I’ll have to look into that!
After you wash a fleece, don’t you have to card it? I would like to buy a fleece but don’t know if I can afford the tools to process it …
Thank you so much!
those links were expecially nice (: do you find the fiber from Hudson Valley to be good quality? I think I might place an order!!
Also, I do have a boyfriend who asked me for Christmas gift ideas and I’M TOTALLY SENDING HIM THAT LINK thank you so much
I think the Hudson Valley fiber is nice. I’m a new spinner and not much of a judge, but my spinning group includes several people far more experienced than me, and they also buy the dye pot medleys.
I’m glad this was helpful. I’m always happy to recommend small businesses that I like.
you do have to card or comb. it’s possible to purchase used tools and there are threads on Rav and FB for tool sales. The place that @chalimar16 recommended looks very nice, and super reasonable!
Now that it’s not 6am, let me give a better reply:
I think the fiber is good quality. I find it very easy to spin, and enjoy the knitted projects I’ve made with the finished yarn. I occasionally find a bit of straw or something in the fiber, but it’s mostly quite clean and nice. I also located a few pictures of what I’ve bought. This mixed bag was $8.50 for 4oz. http://www.ravelry.com/people/chalimar16/handspun/mixed-bag Sometimes the wool breed is specified, sometimes not.
I’m pretty shameless when it comes to sending links to family with a note about how if they really love me they’d buy me X. I hope your boyfriend gets you something lovely!
I’ve heard of some spinners using dog grooming tools as inexpensive ways to prepare wool before they invest in combs and cards. That’s an option, if you decide to buy a fleece.
I’m Joanne from Michigan. I started spinning about 2 1/2 years ago. I learned at my local Spinners Flock Spinners Guild. I’m hooked! I spin on an Ashford Joy 2, a Lendrum, and on various drop spindles. And I fell in love with the Hansen Mini Spinner when I tried it at Rhinebeck this year. That was dangerous!
I just picked up two sweaters worth of local fiber at a spinners guild fiber sale, and am starting my first sweater spin.
I love hanging out with fellow fiber-a-holics!