Spinning Wool on the Ashford Traditional Wheel

Spinning Wool on the Traditional Ashford Wheel

Learn to Spin Wool on the Ashford Traditional Wheel

When you first start learning to spin wool, you first need to learn to use your spinning wheel, you cant go past the amazing (and free) tutorials from Ashford Wheels and Looms.

The great thing about Ashford spinning wheels, is that they are designed to help you spin wool with ease.

There are many different ways to spin. Soon you will be developing your own style and creating many different kinds of yarns. For this instructional, use Ashford wool sliver. However, other fibres such as silk, linen, cotton and many animal fibres can also be spun on Ashford wheels.

All Ashford spinning wheels have similar parts and function alike. This tutorial uses the Traditional spinning wheel to teach you how to spin.

The Good Yarn Spinning Wool Traditional Wheel Learn to Spin

Parts
First become familiar with the names of the parts – treadle, bobbin, flyer and whorl, spindle, orifice, flyer hooks, threading hook, drive band, brake band, adjusting and tension knobs, back and front support bearings, lazy kate.
Brake Band
Turn the brake band tension knob until the springs just begin to stretch.
Do not over tighten or the yarn may break and the wheel will be hard to treadle.
Drive band
Single drive – place the drive band over the largest flyer whorl.
Double drive – place the drive band over the largest flyer whorl and the smaller bobbin whorl.

READY TO BEGIN

The Good Yarn Spinning Wool Learn to Spin Tools


You will need:
Approx. 50grams wool sliver
A 1.5metre (5ft) length of medium weight yarn for a leader yarn and a 10metre (30ft) length for practising
A chair
A niddy noddy
PRACTICE
Go through each step taking time to feel the rhythm of treadling and working with your hands.
LUBRICATION
Regularly apply a drop of oil to all bearings to make treadling easier. Refer to the assembly instructions for details.

The Good Yarn Learn to Spin on the Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel Foot and Treadle

TREADLE: Sit on a chair in front of the wheel and place your foot on the treadle. Turn the wheel in a CLOCKWISE direction with your hand, and start treadling. Use a heel and toe action. Stop and practise starting again until you feel comfortable treadling.
Note: If treadling seems hard loosen the tension on the drive band with the adjusting knob. If the wheel slides on the floor, push down with your foot, not away. Place a rug under the chair and wheel.

The Good Yarn Learn to Spin Tie the Leader

TIE THE LEADER: Start with a leader yarn on the bobbin. Tie a 1.5metre (5ft) leader yarn firmly onto the bobbin.

The Good Yarn Learn to Spin Leader Yarn

Take the leader yarn over the 4th hook and pull it through the orifice with the threading hook.

The Good Yarn Spinning Wool Learn to Spin Flyer Bobbin chair fibre

Hold the leader in your left hand and turn the wheel clockwise 3 times. This starts the yarn winding onto the bobbin. Stop when 50cm (20ins) of yarn is left in front of the orifice.

SPINNING WOOL PRACTICE:

The Good Yarn Spinning Wool Learn to Spin Flyer Bobbin brake band set

Make a loop at the end of the yarn. Take the 10metre (30ft) length of yarn, carry it through the loop and double it back about 10cm (4ins).

The Good Yarn Spinning Wool Learn to Spin Flyer Bobbin treadle

HANDS AND FEET: Hold the yarn at the loop with your left hand. Start treadling with the wheel turning clockwise. Feed the yarn into the flyer orifice with your left hand.

The Good Yarn Spinning Wool Learn to Spin Super Flyer Double Drive Bobbin

Allow the yarn to slide through your right hand.

PRACTISE THE DRAFTING ACTION:

The Good Yarn Spinning Wool Learn to Spin Fibre

1. Pinch the yarn between your fingers. 2. Relax the pinch slightly and slide your fingers towards you – the twist will follow. 3. Pinch again when the twist has carried down the length of the yarn. 4. Feed the yarn into the orifice and onto the bobbin.

The Good Yarn Spinning Wool Learn to Spin Flyer Bobbin red yarn

Repeat this until you come to the end of the yarn.

The Good Yarn Spinning Wool Learn to Spin Flyer Bobbin treadle Corriedale

Lift the brake band off the back of the bobbin (single drive) and pull the yarn back through the orifice. Replace the brake band and practise the drafting action again. Once you feel your hand and foot action is co-ordinated you are ready to start spinning with the sliver.

Spinning the fibres

SPINNING WOOL: Take a length of wool sliver. Pull some fibres out of the sliver.

Take these fibres through the loop and double back. Start treadling slowly clockwise until there is a light twist in the fibres around the leader. Now you are ready to begin drafting and spinning a yarn.

Note: The pinching fingers of your left hand prevent the twist entering the undrafted sliver. If this happens stop treadling and pull the spun yarn from the sliver and start again.
Hold the sliver lightly in your right hand and allow the fibres to pull out easily. This makes it easy to spin a consistent yarn.

JOINING THE YARN:

Treadle clockwise and hold the spun yarn in your left hand. Place more sliver alongside. Allow the fibres to catch and twist into the yarn. Pinch the fingers of your left hand in front of the join and start drafting the fibres again.

HINTS FOR THIS STAGE:

  1. Do not sit too close to the spinning wheel. Relax, lean back and leave room for your hands to work.
  2. Uneven yarn is OK – your first handspun will be a beautiful “fancy yarn.”
  3. Take time and you will work out your own rhythm for spinning wool
  4. If you lose the yarn down the orifice, find the end and use the threading hook to pull the yarn back through the orifice.
  1. If the yarn is not winding on to the bobbin –
    a) Slightly tighten the brake band tension knob (single drive) or the drive band adjusting knob (double drive).
    b) Check that the yarn has not caught on a flyer hook or in the orifice.
  2. You can vary the amount of twist in your yarn by changing the speed of your treadling or hand movements.

FILLING THE BOBBIN:

As the yarn builds up on the bobbin move the yarn to the next hook. Do this often working backwards and forwards over the hooks until the bobbin is full.

CHANGING THE BOBBIN

Single Drive: (See step 28 for changing of the double drive bobbin) Lift the brake band from the bobbin. Hold the back of the bobbin, lift the spindle out of the back flyer bearing and slide off the full bobbin.

Slide an empty bobbin onto the spindle and click the spindle back into the bearing. Replace the brake band and check the tension.

PLYING:

We recommend you ply two single yarns together to a make a strong, balanced 2 ply yarn. Place 2 full bobbins onto the lazy kate, both large ends on the same side. Place an empty bobbin on the flyer. Tie a leader yarn with a loop and pull it through the orifice as before.

Take 1 yarn from each bobbin on the lazy kate, put them through the loop and double back about 10cm (4ins).

This spinning wool tutorial supplied by Ashford, continues further in the free downloadable PDF. For the entire tutorial, simply Click on the button below to download your own copy

We have so many more tutorials. Learn to use a niddy noddy here, knit a boomerang shawl, or wonderful ways to use your drum carder