Wednesday, August 24, 2011
My Spinning Wheel
While we're waiting for me to tease the rest of Kai Llama's fiber (see Spinning Kai: Teasing) and get it ready to spin, I thought you might like to see my spinning wheel. It's an Ashford Traditional Single-Drive kit wheel, made in New Zealand.
Although I specify "single-drive," I believe that was the only kind of drive available back when I ordered it in 1975 or so. Now there are lots more choices, and even the traditional wheel that is sold today looks a bit different in design.
I assembled this wheel completely by myself, and that made me feel very proud, as it was the first time I had ever attempted such a project. You can see the assembly directions here. By putting it together, I handled every piece and understood its function, and how it was connected to the next piece. That knowledge came in handy when I later needed to adjust or tune up the wheel.
Way back then, the kit cost $95.00 delivered to the closest spinning and weaving shop, which was in Puyallup, Washington. I see that unfinished wheels cost between four and five hundred dollars now!
One of the things I have always loved about spinning is how the names of the parts of the wheel hearken back to another long-ago time: The maidens, the mother-of-all, and the footman. You can see a diagram of a wheel and its parts here.
If you are thinking of getting a wheel, I would recommend that you buy a kit and put the wheel together yourself. Another suggestion: Don't store the wheel out in a hot, dry garage like I did. It's been a real job to get it back into working order after it was exposed to such extreme temperatures! Never again...