Comfy Spinning Tips

When I started spinning, it was all I could think about for a while. Learning how to spin wool was all consuming in those first days, and I spent hours one weekend getting acquainted with the spinning wheel. Come Monday, my back hurt and my neck was pinched. I had been spinning my heart out with no regard for how my posture would affect my body.

In the video New Spinner’s Guide to Troubleshooting, Abby Franquemont shares her spinning tips and tricks for what to do when all kinds of things go wrong at the spinning wheel.

As a spinning teacher, Abby has witnessed all sorts of spinning techniques. One of the most important things for spinners to learn is how subtle adjustments to both your wheel and your body can lead to hours of problem-free spinning. Here are some of Abby’s best tips for comfy spinning.

Where, Oh Where Do the Hands Go?

Draft with about a hand’s length of distance between the orifice and the drafting zone.

How far away do the hands need to be from the orifice? Don’t sit hunched over with your hands right up close to the spinning wheel. Sit in a relaxed position with knees slightly lower than your hips. Abby recommends that the front hand, the one controlling the twist, be about a hand’s length or several staple lengths away from the orifice opening. Keeping the hands well back allows for relaxing spinning.

Abby and the Three Spinning Positions

Drafting up too high and scrunching the shoulders is uncomfortable.

Drafting up too high

This one is too tense. Spinning with your shoulders scrunched up and the drafting zone held up high, close to the chest, builds tension in your neck and back. This will lead to discomfort over time.

Holding arms out and hands too close to the orifice makes the arms tired and leads to uneven yarn.

Holding arms out

This spinner is seated too far from the spinning wheel. Spinning with arms stretched out in front and hands close to the orifice will not only fatigue the arms, but it will also lead to inconsistent spinning. Spinning in this position would not be tolerable for very long.

With shoulders relaxed and hands back, this position is just right.

With shoulders relaxed

This is just right. Keep the shoulders relaxed and hands away from the orifice and close to the lap. Drafting in this position will be comfortable and enable spinning for longer periods of time.

Whether you are a new spinner or just coming back to your wheel after a hiatus, Spin Off’s The New Spinner’s Guide to Fundamentals video download collection, including the New Spinner’s Guide to Troubleshooting with Abby Franquemont, plus Beginning Spinning on a Wheel with Kate Larson and The New Spinner’s Guide to Plying with Anne Merrow, will help make time at the wheel both more productive and pleasurable.

Spin happy!

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