Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Can I call myself a spinner yet?

Last week I was fortunate enough to find an Ashford wheel for very cheep. As I am new to this hobby I did not want to invest much money in my first wheel, but did hope that for the small price I paid I wouldn't be receiving a total lemon.  Luckily for me, after doing some simple maintenance on the wheel (new hooks, leather piece, string, and a bit of oil) it is running smoothly. I did a little research and believe this wheel was made circa 1975, judging by this timeline

What I was most excited about was that it was a vintage Ashford wheel. Ashford is a New Zealand company, that was founded by Walter Ashford in 1934. Ashford designed flat pack wheels for people to use during war time and following there after. It has evolved to become a leading producer of top quality spinning and weaving equipment.

 ~ One must wear an apron when spinning ~

 ~ Beautiful fleece from a merino sheep in Oberon ~

I have been teaching myself to spin via youtube videos, online articles and books. The skill of spinning is evolving slowly. I have mastered the motion of the treadle, however my grafting leaves a lot to be desired! My yarn is spinning well sometimes, and other times it is over spun and twists up too much. I am troubleshooting this problem and can see I am getting better and stopping this happening. 

~ Some twisty bits in there! ~

Practice makes perfect right? 

But the good news is I very much enjoy it and look forward to when my skills improve.

It is also important to note: spinning (like any other fabric/yarn craft) appears to be a cat magnet. But even more so when the slight scent of sheep is in the air...

Sam xox


  1. Some of the twist will soften when you you ply in the opposite direction. I learned this the first attempts...ssssh, don't tell people how stupid I was!! I was plying in the same direction as I was spinning the single strand. eeeek. talk about OVER twist!

    oooo, I'm jealous that you have such beautiful merino sheep/fleeces so close to where you live =)

    and, you found a great treasure for your first wheel.


  2. Veru cool! Glad to hear you are enjoying your new hobby.

  3. I swear I saw a spinning wheel in an opshop window when I was on a drive with my boyfriend last week - I was like 'stop! turn around! There is a SPINNING WHEEL in that opshop!' But unfortunately he is the 'sensible' one and said 'what are you going to do with a spinning wheel? you can't even find the time to knit with your storebought wool!' :( I wish I had time for such awesome hobbies.

  4. That is such a rewarding hobby! My mother had a spinning wheel and often spun her own yarn for knitting jumpers.
    Thank you so much for your comment

  5. Hello Sam,

    First time comment from me, but I've been looking at your Blog for about 2 years now. I "discovered" you through "Down to Earth Rhonda".

    I just LOVE your blog and the way you just get in and do whatever it is you want to have a go at. Nothing seems to put you off.

    This post on Spinning Wheels inspired me to do something I've wanted to do for over 30 years and at the weekend (at age 60) I bought my first spinning wheel!! A second hand Ashford! A bit grotty but very cute and with a little clean up I know we'll become best friends. :-) So thank you for giving me the "push" I needed. I'm looking forward to learning more from you learning to spin.

    Welcome to Newcastle by the way. Isn't it a gorgeous place? Some of the best coastline in the world!

    Luv.... Julie J