What is my favorite wheel for spinning yarn? Does it have to be one? It really does vary depending on what weight of yarn I want to spin, where I want to spin, and what will be happening around me.
I was asked recently what wheel was my favorite so far after embarking on a major test driving of many different wheels with various types of tension systems. I replied this:
It really depends WHAT I am spinning, WHY, and WHERE.
Art yarn production….hands down Ashford JUMBO E spinner.
Demo out in public for a festival where I am spinning locks for a long time, stopping and starting a lot…..Ashford Country Spinner 1. CS1.
Putzy for fun on my own or a spin circle locally for an hour or 2…bulky to thin….a vintage Louet.
Putzy but feeling funky and weird…spinning for an hour or 2….Moswolt M1. Medium to Bulky.
Hanging at home and spinning super fine…I prefer a supported spindle.
So what weight of yarn, where you want to spin, as in carry or move it far, all that does matter.
The single most common thing of all these wheels is that they are all simple tension and 1 or 2 speeds. Bobbin led or Irish tension for all of them.
If you want to spin most all weights of yarn but probably won’t do production yarn spinning, still want a portable wheel and don’t require bobbins to hold 2-3 pds of fiber at once….. You will need a versatile wheel.
If you do want to spin both fine and bulky capabilities…. I think I would suggest a Louet. If you are like me and prefer antiques or traditional looking wheels, try hunting for an older style. Maybe you would like a Louet S70 as much as I do.
A Louet is the most versatile out of the box with no extras wheel. Simple tensioning, uncomplicated wheels, accessories to spin fine or bulky if you want more past their regular accessories, and still portable and sturdy.
Most important….a Louet will NOT break the bank while you are learning and are easy enough to even pick up second hand. Parts are easy to get and not very many working parts to break to start with.
I am not a distributor for any dealer, so my suggestions are based on spinning a lot of wheels and seeing many comments of other people about their wheels and frustrations they have while spinning.
All of those wheels, I just sit down and spin without much fuss. Just how I like it.