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Ashford Spinning Wheels

Updated on May 22, 2013

Ashford Spinning Wheels for Spinning Wool

Do you love working with fiber? Using a spinning wheel is a great experience for fiber lovers, as you take a raw fleece and turn it into yarn to use for whatever project you want.

Ashford spinning wheels allow you to practice an ancient craft in modern times!

You can buy all kinds of different fibers, and make fine to thick yarn, or anything in-between. It's up to you how thick you make your yarn, and what kind of fiber or combination you use. You can be as creative as your heart desires!

It's very satisfying to watch that transformation, and make just exactly the kind of yarn you want. A spinning wheel is satisfying to look at and satisfying to use.

Watching the spinning wheel turn raw wool in to yarn is poetry in motion!

Ashford Elizabeth 2 Fairytale Spinning Wheel

When most people think of a spinning wheel, this is the kind they think of. It's a traditional Saxony wheel, with the elements arranged horizontally.

It's the kind of wheel that looks beautiful just sitting there in your living room, but is also a dream to work with.

This Ashford Elizabeth spinning wheel weighs 20 lbs. and features ball bearings and a wheel with a diameter of 24" and is made of New Zealand silverbeech wood. It has all brass fittings, and a double drive with an alternate scotch tension option.

It allows for easy adjustment of the mother-of-all for alignment. The orifice is 3/8", and a Lazy Kate and 4 bobbins are included. It has new higher ratios: 8.5:1, 11:1 and l5:1 for speed spinning.

It does require some basic assembly, and this particular wheel comes unfinished. The advantage of that is twofold. First, it's cheaper. Second, you can use any finish you want so you can have a light colored wheel, or cherry stained or a dark walnut. It's your choice!

Ashford Kiwi Spinning Wheel 2

Here's an example of a spinning wheel with the elements arranged vertically. It has a more "modern" look. It may seem unimportant how a spinning wheel looks, but it really does affect how much you enjoy owning and using the spinning wheel.

So when you walk by that spinning wheel sitting there in your living room or wherever you put it.... does it put a little smile on your face and / or in your heart? Seriously! There's no reason why form and function shouldn't both make you happy!

The Ashford Kiwi 2 has a sliding hook flyer with14mm (½”) hooks.Ratios 5.5 and 7.25:1/

It comes 3 large 90mm(3½”) bobbins with precision bearings and 130gm (4-5oz) capacity. There is a built-in Lazy Kate.

The treadle boards are 1” (25mm) apart for more comfortable and treadling.

Note: this is a double treadle spinning wheel, but the Kiwi is also available as single treadle if you prefer it.

Remember, choose the style of spinning wheel that works for you both visually and functionally.

Spinning Books

Whether you're just learning to spin or experienced spinner looking for patterns, here are some books worth checking out!

Intro on How to Spin - Using a single treadle Ashford Spinning Wheel

The Ashford Book of Spinning

If you are new to spinning, this book is especially helpful.

There are over 100 illustrations and pictures to show you how to spin, along with detailed instructions.

The book is a great spinning primer, and will tell you not only how to spin, but gives advice on the different types of fiber you can use for spinning.

My personal favorites are Shetland wool and alpaca wool!

If you are interested in spinning, this is a great book to help you learn about how to do it.

Where to find spinning wool. . . - Yes, you can buy wool online!

There are many places you can find raw wool to use for spinning.

If you know a local shepherd, you can get your wool fresh off the sheep, after shearing day in over (usually in the spring - you can see a video of sheep shearing HERE). This has the advantage of allowing you to see and feel the fleece before you buy it.

However, if you haven't the faintest clue where the closest flock of sheep might be, don't despair! It's easy to buy wool online.

One of the best resources for buying raw fleece is a Yahoo Group called, appropriately enough, Fleece For Sale. I just checked, and there are now over 3,000 members. It's a "no chat" group, so all you get is posts about raw fleeces for sale.

It's a great group whether you want to buy fleece, or sell it.

There's another smaller group called Wool Exchange that is for people "interested in buying or selling wool fleeces, roving or yarn from the fine wool breeds such as merino, rambouillet, Finn, Columbia, Cormo, etc. Also allowed are trades of books on knitting or spinning, and knitting, spinning or weaving tools, raw fleeces, and processed wool batts or roving."

You can also do a search online and find many shepherds that are selling their wool from their own website. One of the best search terms to use is "raw wool". If you just use "wool" or "fleece", you'll get search results for wool and fleece fabrics, not the stuff for spinning!

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Do you love to spin? - Share your favorite fiber, and why you love it!

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