Treadle or Single Treadle? If you
plan to spin for long periods of time most find the double treadle less
fatiguing. With a double treadle you should be able to spin with just one
treadle too and keep going if you need to stretch your leg or if for some
reason fate breaks your leg.
Some wheels that have a double treadle option
really don't help much in my opinion. Example the double treadle on the
Ashford Joy is a bit overkill. The Joy wheel is so small and lightweight
having a double treadle is not really necessary. Another wheel I find the
double treadle really not necessary is the Schacht 30" Saxony wheel. The
wheel is quite large offering fast ratios, you actually are treadling about
half as much anyway. I had to relearn my normal treadling and SLOW way down.
Double Drive or Single Drive? Using
the double drive mode of spinning the drive belt goes around the wheel, the
bobbin whorl and the flyer whorl. Double drive operation is one long band.
It gives equal tension on the flyer whorl and the bobbin whorl. Making
tension adjustments easy.
the single drive mode (AKA Scotch Tension) the drive band goes around the
wheel and flyer whorl. A separate band, usually with a small spring, is
applied to the bobbin whorl.
All the double drive wheels include the option of a single drive. The
single drive option makes spinning lofty woolen type of yarn easier.
Spinning in double drive mode aids in spinning yarns in a semi woolen, semi
worsted or worsted spun yarns. Personally I think the double drive wheels
that include the single drive option is the best of both worlds.
Does the wheel offer upgrades that I can add
later? Schacht Matchless, has several whorls that you
can add later. Faster whorls when you progress to spinning lace weight yarns
and slower whorls when you wish to spin thick singles or lumpy bumpy novelty
Ashford double drive offers a high speed whorl
that will help you spin fine singles, that when plied together will result
in a yarn similar to a fingering or sock weight yarn. Ashford single drive
wheels offer lace bobbins if you wish to spin really fine yarns.
Both the Ashford Traveller and Traditional have
an option of the bulky head. The bobbin is twice as big as the standard
bobbins. This sounds great at first but personally I think this is only a
real option if you need to larger skein of yarn or a thick yarn some of the
time. I think the wheel spins better as it was originally designed and
intended. The larger bobbin changes the spin ratios and is more difficult to
If you find you need or want bigger skeins or
thicker yarns, then consider Ashfords Country spinner. It holds 2 lb worth
of yarn and has an orifice almost a full inch. I use the Country spinner
when I want to spin yarns for rug weaving, super bulky yarns that will knit
with jumbo knitting needle or novelty yarns, such as mohair tail spun, where
the long curly hairs can get caught in the hooks and orifice of a standard
Once you decide
the style you want, either Castle or Saxony there are several options.
The price may be a consideration for you. All are good spinners. Expect to
pay more for features, such as wood, finishing, larger wheels and details on
Ashford wheels, made in New Zealand, are available finished or
unfinished completely unassembled. From basic to something more fancy.
Kromski wheels, made in Poland, are less expensive if the wood is
unfinished. The Kromski comes partially unassembled.
Both the Ashford and
Kromski wheels come with easy to understand assembly instructions.
The Schacht wheel is made in the USA, comes finished and assembled.