Top Three Reasons to Try an Electric Spinner

Because you don’t have to sit close enough to treadle, you can position an electric spinner most comfortably for your body.
  1. You know that annoying thing that happens with your treadle wheel, when you start to treadle but the drive wheel goes backward and your yarn gets all tangled? An electric spinner always goes the way you want it to.
  2. Your treadle wheel won’t fit in front of you in the passenger seat, so you can’t spin on long road trips. Electric spinner, no problem! Just plug it into the cigarette lighter and away you go.
  3. You’re a serious multi-tasker, and with your treadle wheel you can only do one, maybe two things at once: spin and watch tv, for instance. Or spin and listen to a book on tape. Or spin and chat with your friends or family. An electric spinner frees up your feet so you can also . . . tap dance? Well, probably not, but you could actually work out on a treadmill or stationary bike while making yarn. If you wanted to.


In addition to electric-spinner-specific techniques, Sarah shares her best advice for all spinners (including challenging your fingers with slubs).

Seriously, though. I had never been much interested in electric spinners until I watched Sarah Anderson’s video, Power Spinning. The portability, controllability, and versatility of her little machine just blew me away. As she says, the craft is all in your hands anyway. There are reasons they call us handspinners, not footspinners.

Sarah is a fount of good advice, handy tips, and general solid spinning technique that make the whole transition from foot power to electric power plausible and appealing. And if you have a crummy knee, as I do, an electric spinner can extend your spinning life indefinitely. One thing she didn’t mention: Alden Amos (The Big Book of Handspinning) advocates sitting as far away from your wheel as possible when plying, for the most even, consistent plied yarn. With a treadle wheel, that would be the length of your leg. With an electric spinner? You could sit out in the backyard while your spinner was on the kitchen table. If you wanted to.


imageplaceholder Linda Ligon
Founder, Interweave

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