Great Spinning Wheel Roundup 2018: Shopping Guide
Spinning wheels make yarn, but that’s not all they do. They live in your space, and generally, your body supplies the power. You’re more likely to spin if you love your spinning wheel, and you’re more likely to love your wheel if it efficiently performs the spinning tasks you require of it.
When you’re shopping for a spinning wheel, you’ll have many questions. Only you can answer some of them. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself as you shop:
1. What type(s) of yarn do you want to make? Any wheel can make any yarn, but a wheel’s drive type and ratios help determine what yarns and fibers you can spin most easily.
2. Do you want to travel with your wheel or leave it at home? When you want mobility, consider the wheel’s weight and foldability. For a home-based wheel, space requirements and the wheel’s looks will take priority.
3. What accessories do you want, and how fast do you want them? Every spinner needs bobbins and a lazy kate. Many spinners want the options of bulky or high-speed flyers for plying, making art yarns, or creating superfine handspun. Check out the company’s website or ask a dealer what’s available for their wheels. For example, some wheelmakers may not offer additional bobbins beyond the original purchase, or they may waitlist bobbin orders to produce more wheels.
4. Does the wheel’s look suit you? If you’ve always wanted a fancy wheel with turned spokes, or a sleek metal wheel, or the minimalist look of PVC pipe, get that wheel. Don’t settle and then die a little inside during every spinning session.
5. How much do you want to spend? Some manufacturers offer all-inclusive package deals with lots of accessories (kate, bulky flyer, carry case, etc.) at significant savings. If you want the options and can afford it, get the package up front—you’ll have more money for fiber!
To aid in your search for the perfect spinning wheel, download the Great Spinning Wheel Roundup 2018. Our guide lists the specifications for wheels, e-spinners, and charkhas currently on the market in a handy comparative chart. Are you new to spinning on a wheel? Take Kate Larson’s course Beginning Spinning on a Wheel.
Featured Image: Ashford Traveler. Photo by George Boe