Wheels and other Spinning Equipment

 

 

 

I was blessed with a husband who enabled my addiction. My first wheel was an Ashford Traveller (he got a flintlock, I got a wheel - works for me!) - I'm currently in the process of decorating it. Here it is..not quite finished, but I took a picture anyway:

 

Nice wheel, good for a beginner.  It's just not as efficient as I'd like - YMMV.    This is what my flyers normally look like after I've been plying...I like to pack it in!

 

Actually, I changed directions with where I was going with the decorations. *g* It's now a nice, bright, shiny walnut:

 

I like this much better.  The paint is even, and looks <i>classic</i>

 

 


 

I almost feel like I should rename this page something like "The Alden Amos Fan Club" or "AA Junkies Anonymous" or somesuch. His work is wonderful, and his wheels are addictive.....

 

My second wheel is my true love - an Alden Amos Scottish Castle wheel. I can treadle her with my big toe, start and stop her with just a thought.... all in all a beautiful and efficient wheel! Alden is a genius, and I can't say enough nice things about him and his workmanship! It will spin just about anything from silk to wool to flax. (Lotta treadling on the finer grists, but still effortless!) I decided that the bobbins were too small for plying, so Alden made me a bulky flyer. I'm using it more than the original flyer - the bobbins are HUGE.

 

Alden kept the turnings true to the Scottish philosophy.  Very workmanlike, but still pretty.

 

The craftmanship on all of Alden's equipment is just amazing. Here - see for yourself in these shots of the gorgeousness of the work:

 

Closeup of the wheel.  I believe the wood is Maple.    Closeup of the figure of the wood

 

A shot of one of the legs - all 3 are alike.    Look at the awesomeness of the forge work!    Bottom of the footman and end of the treadle, to show how they connect

 

The original flyer.  It's hysterically accurate, which means very tiny.    Closeup of the front maiden.    Here's the jumbo flyer AA built for me

 

The origianl kate for this wheel    The kate for the Jumbo bobbins

 

 

Just for comparision, and for fun and educational purposes, here is a shot of 3 bobbins: the AA Bulky, the AA Original, and the Ashford. What a difference! Any questions as to why I prefer the Bulky??

Eenie, Meanie, Miney, Moe.....which bobbin would *you* use?

 


 

I have decided I want to spin cotton. The first person I contacted was Alden; my wheel, while wonderful, is not really suited for the high ratios cotton needs - too much treadling to be efficient. So, he twisted my arm, and I ordered one of his Banjo Charkas. I haven't made friends with it yet - a spindle and an active toddler just don't mix! But, with what little I've done on it, I am impressed. Can't wait to actually have time to play with it!

 

Lovely cherry wood....it's *so* pettable!

 

It lives on the wall in my studio, to keep little hands away from the spindle. It's pretty sharp and dangerous, and therefore very inviting to kidlets.

 


And finally, after 3 years of deliberation, arguements, and discussion, the wheel stork delivered my Beautiful, Wonderful, Extremely Efficient Norwegian Wheel. Alden has done it again - this wheel is...well, let's just say I am in Love with this wheel.

 

American Chestnut wood.  Based on an original dated to 1870-1880 that was sent to Alden for restoration.

 

I just can't say enough about this wheel. It's got a lot of ooomph in a small footprint, it's very easy to carry around, and - wow. It spins effortlessly. I'm trying to think of places I can haul it to, just because I can!

 

I am so enamored of this wheel, I took lots of pictures. The figure of the wood is..well, it's amazing. The turnings are - well, here - have a look:

 

Here's a view of the bench, looking from above, at the left of the drive wheel.    Here's a view of the tension screw.    Here's a view of the bench, looking from the side away from the spinner.  Love the curves!

 

Here's a view of the rear maiden.    And, here's the front maiden.  Note the different turnings.    Here's a view of the treadle pin.  It's *way* cool!

 

Here's a view of the spokes on the drive wheel.  They are all alike; note the pyrography on them - the whole wheel is done with it!    Here's a view of the figure on the drivewheel itself.  This is from the side opposite the spinner.    Here's a view of the way-cool kate.  The wood matches the wheel, but isn't as figured.  It has a slot so you can hang it from the wall - it's patterned on the original, as well.

 

Here's the flyer and my 'favorite' bobbin.  It is perfect for fine wools and flax spinning.    Alden made me 2 bobbins specifically for flax.  The bump in the middle is...for something.  He told me and I can't remember, but there's a good reason for it!    I contacted Alden and asked him to make me some more bobbins.  Not only did he do that - I have 6 extra bobbins, bringing the total to 9; 2 are for flax, 1 matches one of the originals, 1 is for silk, and the other 2 are just different whorl sizes - he also made me a rack to hold them.  Have I mentioned how much I Love that man??

 


 

In fact, I love him so much.....I just ordered *another* wheel (March, 2007). This one will be a Canadian Production Wheel, and I am planning on using it for sales yarn. This will keep my other 2 wheels for demos and "fun" yarn, and will hopefully not ruin my pleasure in spinning on them. Here's hoping, anyway. I ordered the standard one, with an extra flyer array. If things work out, I'll be able to use the jumbo flyer from the Scottish Wheel on it.


I purchased an Ashford Joy to schlepp around to demos and such. Nice wheel - but very small (that's it's selling point, duh!) A little hard to get used to after my AA...but great for just tossing in the car and going places. I finally made the decision to part with it - I kept looking for excuses to *not* use it. It's at a home where it is much loved now!

 

Here it is, set up and ready to spin.

 


I recently acquired a Louet S-15 to teach people on. It's bobbin lead, which is easy to use, but - uuuuugggggggggggggggh! Compared to my AAs, it sucks - it isn't as easy to treadle, it isn't efficient for fine yarns (which I tend to lean towards)...but it's practically indestructible, and it's really easy to figure out. I keep trying to make friends with it...but it's slow going.

 

Full view.  Very Simple little wheel.    A shot of the flyer.  Notice the drive band goes over the bobbin, and the brake on the oriface.

 


Annnnnnnnnnnnnd - here is my spindle collection. The sheepie was made by the very talented Potwench:

 

I love the expression on his face!  It is *so* cute!

 

Here's the spindles, one by one....I don't have that many, by serious spindler's ideas, but I have enough:

 

I got this spindle from The Wheel Thing.  It's Paduak wood - naturally    A Bosworth mini spindle....paduak wood    A paduak Queen Anne from Greensleeves Spindles

 

I couldn't resist the thistle    All of these are from Spinster's Loft - I can't remember the artist, but the ceramic work is divine!    My first ceramic spindle.  I dropped it..but a bit of glue put the whorl back together

 

This one has 2 dragons chasing each other around it    A plain celtic knot    A replacement for the one I broke

 

And, of course, the required Alden Amos section of our collection:

 

Hand forged iron.  Surprisingly, you *can* do laceweight on it!    Take a rock, shove a shaft thru it, and voila! A spindle!    This spindle is almost *perfect*. The top whorl *is* perfect!

 

British coin.  Is it sick that I am amused that the shaft goes right thru the queen's head?    I haven't used this one yet.  Yet.

 


OK, so this isn't a wheel, but it is from the wonderful AA workshop. It's a squirrel-cage swift, and it's used to help unwind skeins of yarn. The woodwork is gorgeous!

 

Beautiful walnut swift.  It works as perfectly as it looks!    He even hid the screws!    Close-up of the cage part.  Both of them spin freely and smoothly - it's a wonderful tool.

 


 

My antique clock reel - I got a whale of a deal on eBay! It actually clicks!

 

Antique clock reel - the seller estimates it's 100 years old    Side view    Closeup of the chip carving on the base

 

Detail of one of the spokes - you can tell they are hand-turned    Shot of one of the legs

 


 

I needed a blocking reel to properly finish my handspun, so I asked the church handyman if he'd make me one. He did a wonderful job!

 

Blocking reel    Shot of the reel being used to block some handspun yarn

 


 

Alden's kates are wonderful, but my storage bobbins won't fit on any of them. After a bit of thought, I made some myself using a piece of aluminum bar stock and some 2x4 pieces. Not pretty, but work great!

 

Homemade plying rack - like a lazy kate, but not as fancy    Same, but with 3 rods instead of 2

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