New To Me Spinning Wheel

I present to you a HitchHiker single treadle spinning wheel by The Merlin Tree. I was gifted this wheel by mother after she procured it in a trade with her quilt shop coworker. I have been doing my best to research this wheel as it’s a little different than most. It’s a direct drive wheel which means the flyer is turned directly by the wheel as you treadle. Honestly, its kind of an obscure wheel and it doesn’t have a lot resources either from the manufacturer or on YouTube. It has been a little frustrating but I shall persevere.

I have been practicing just treadling on the empty wheel because it is going to take some learned muscle movement to keep the wheel going in the same direction as I start and stop. That is just the ups and down of a direct drive wheel. Just putting your foot on the treadle can move the wheel in a direction you didn’t intend. The brake band also needs some TLC to be snugged up which I am hoping my woodworking father can assist with. I think I may also have to try to fall upon the mercy of the local spinners group for assistance/lessons. Time will tell…

With the wheel I also inherited the spinner fiber stash. In the bin in addition to a knitty knoddy and spare wheel parts was a TON of fiber. I dig through and found llama blends, alpaca blends, romney wool, merino blends and several unidentified fibers. This spinner clearly had good taste.

This all came from a rural farm, so right now it’s living my sub zero garage just in case it has anything other than fiber in there. I’m hoping to zap this with some heat somehow before bringing into the house with my other stash.

I’m interested to if I can become a spinner?

6 thoughts on “New To Me Spinning Wheel

  1. I think all wheels need a nudge with the hand to go in the direction you want to spin (either clockwise for Z or anti clockwise for S). I spin singles Z and ply S direction. You’ll want to identify which way to spin your wheel to get the Z and S.
    You should also be able to identify the ratio by sticking a post-it on the large wheel and a thread on one of the hooks on the flyer. Start with both the wheel and flyer with thread at 12 o’clock and then manually rotate the wheel with your hand one full rotation whilst counting how many times your flyer spins round. For example mine goes round 6.5 times for one full rotation of the wheel. This means if I draft 1″ of fibre per foot treddle then I get 6.5 twists per inch of yarn.
    When I started spinning this is what I aimed for to draft an inch each time my foot presses, you can get in a good rhythm using this method and it will stop you over twisting.
    Pre-drafting or splitting your fibre into strips also helped me when learning.
    Hope this helps, I look forward to seeing your spinning.
    Oh also, have a look to see if there is a Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers near you.

  2. Pingback: Expanding My Library | My Tangled Yarn Knitting Adventures

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