I’ve been spinning on a drop spindle for about a year. I love it and I’ve made plenty of great yarn. But it does get tedious. It’s slow and there’s a lot of stretching of the arm, winding and unwinding.
As soon as I realized how much I loved spinning, I knew I would have to get a wheel someday. But they’re expensive and I couldn’t imagine when I would be able to save enough money. Not to mention space issues.
But about a month ago my Mom and I were at a fiber festival in central New York put on by CNY Fiber. We were visiting a booth and looking at some lovely fiber when the woman pointed out her wheel – a cute little Ashford Traveler. She mentioned that it was for sale. I saw the price and it was so low I thought she was joking. But she was serious. It wasn’t in great condition, and she was already at least the second owner.
I’m not particularly impulsive, and I have a hard time making a decision. I’m always weighing all the options. So I told her I’d have to think about it and come back. Basically my Mom had to talk sense into me and insist I buy it. I had the money but I couldn’t help thinking I should just keep saving and buy a really nice brand new one. But Mom said it will work and you will be able to spin now so why wait? Just go for it. You can get a nicer one later.
I had to thank her for insisting I buy it. It was a great decision. It took some TLC to get it going again. The seller did mention that one part was wobbly (I think it’s the footman, but forgive me, I am still learning the names of all the parts. It goes up and down with the wheel as it’s treadled) but that some glue would help tighten it up. That turned into a bit of a project for my Dad and my cousin’s boyfriend. They spent quite a bit of time working on it. They fixed it but it was only temporary, it started wobbling again after some use. My Dad has since worked on it some more and it seems fine now.
There was also the issue of getting a new drive band and brake band. I ordered them right away but when I got them I didn’t know how to put them on. I spent a long time googling and watching videos until I finally worked it out.
I also had a lot of waxing and oiling to do. I’m afraid the wheel had been a bit neglected. There’s also the cosmetic issue of the chewed legs. The woman I bought it from told me her dogs liked to chew them. Oh well. It doesn’t affect the functionality. It still spins.
And boy was I happy to be spinning! I got the hang of it pretty quickly. I had only spun on a wheel once for about 20 minutes at a friend’s, and I didn’t do well but I guess my hands learned what to do. When I sat down at mine I pretty much knew how to do it. And I was very excited to be spinning so fast. For the first couple weeks, all I wanted to do was spin because I was so excited that it was going so fast. In the month I’ve had it I’ve probably spun at least 2 pounds. That would probably take me about 6 months on a spindle.
I am a happy girl with my spinning wheel.