Fun with an Electric Spinning Wheel
Sarah Anderson is just one of the many spinners who has tried an electric spinner and fallen in love. Finding a new tool doesn’t mean she’s abandoned her old ones, though—read on for her thoughts on electric and human-powered spinning.
As a child, I remember watching a sitcom named Get Smart. Maxwell Smart was a bumbling secret agent who had one thing I coveted: a shoe phone. It was hilarious (at least to a six-year-old) when the phone rang and Maxwell would remove his shoe and put it to his ear. I wanted one!
Now I have a cell phone (along with everyone else on the planet) and marvel at how technology has transformed our lives. Sometimes I want to go back to that simpler time but have to admit that I like the convenience, and I can always put the phone on mute when I need a break.
Technology has changed in spinning, too. The great thing about it is that there is no “either-or” with spinning technology. We can choose to use a little support spindle, a drop spindle, a great wheel, a treadle wheel, an e-spinner, or just a stick, to name a few options. Unlike telephones, our former tools are never obsolete, and the new developments only add to our choices. The act of spinning yarn really hasn’t changed. The main difference is in the tool we choose to insert twist into our fiber.
So why would you want to try an e-spinner? Convenience and comfort are two of my top reasons for spinning this way, but most of all, I like that when I have different twisting tools, I have all the choices. Sometimes I want to treadle and get into the spinning rhythm. But when it’s time to relax on the couch and spin, out comes the e-spinner. When I spin cotton, my e-spinner can go really fast and get all that twist inserted easily and efficiently. When heading out to spin in a group, I like the compactness of the e-spinner. With the battery, I don’t even need electricity, and everything fits into a small duffle. Even with a low-tech activity such as spinning, good technology can enhance your experience.