Become Friends with Your Wheel

  Abby Franquemont explains basic wheel mechanics in her latest video.

I remember the first time I spun on a wheel: a Louet S10 borrowed from Spin-Off's then-editor Amy Clarke Moore. It felt like magic. So much yarn, so fast! Such an amazing finely-tuned machine! I used the wheel at the settings with which I inherited it and didn't think much more about it. At least, until the day something went a little wonky and I found myself unable to spin with no idea why or how to fix the problem. Was the wheel broken? Did I accidentally turn a knob or twist a lever that I shouldn't have touched? I was lost.

Luckily, I worked in an office surrounded by spinners who could easily answer my questions and help me when things went wrong (in that case, I had completely thrown off my wheel's tension). What I didn't realize at the time is that there's so much more to successful spinning than just understanding how to add twist to fiber. What I really needed was to take the time to get to know my wheel and how it works, and to understand that my relationship with my wheel is crucial to producing good yarn.

For those who find themselves in a similar situation to mine, there's help! Enter Abby Franquemont's new video The New Spinner's Guide to Troubleshooting Your Yarn. I've had the good fortune to meet Abby and I'm so glad she made this video. She's warm, funny, and boy does she know her stuff. If this video had existed when I was first learning to spin, it would have saved my coworkers so many hours of lunchtime help sessions. Among other things, you'll find:

  • A thorough primer on basic wheels mechanics, adjustments, and repairs
  • Info on how your posture and your wheel work together to keep you comfortable and productive
  • A rundown of body mechanics and positioning for short and long draw, and how to troubleshoot common problems with drafting and takeup
  • An understanding that your fiber preparation can not only inform your drafting choices, but help you anticipate the characteristics of your finished yarn

There's so much more beyond that, including a wealth of simple tips and tricks sprinkled into the main lessons. (Need an orifice hook in a pinch? Just grab a paperclip!) If you're a beginning spinner and you're ready for a deeper and more satisfying relationship with your wheel and your yarn, I highly recommend checking out this video.



imageplaceholder Stefanie Berganini
Contributor, Spinning Daily

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