Art Yarn Testing on new Spinning Wheels and Flyers

Art Yarn Testing on new Spinning Wheels and Flyers

I am testing out a Majacraft Aura, an Art Yarn Flyer for my Louet S70, and a new flyer for my original Ashford Country Spinner.  I am trying to decide which way I want to go for my Art Yarn Spinning.


First I was spinning art yarn on the Majacraft Aura with a regular head and the bamboo bobbins that are standard on the Aura.  I tried to spin two styles of yarn.  First I spun a lockspun bulky art yarn.  And second, I spun laceweight yarn in a backwards long draw.

Textured yarn on Aura Bobbin


I have to say I was not pleased with either style of spinning.  I felt that there is just not enough take up and draw in on an Aura when I spin at high speed ratios for a bulky textured yarn.  If I were to spin slowly at a low ratio, it would might be just fine.  I can already do that on my Ashford Country Spinner so no gain there.  


It is a double drive hybrid set up.  But the take up still feels like scotch tension and seems to still suffer from drag and inertia as the bobbin fills.  The constant fiddeling with adjusting the brake as the bobbin filled up was beyond annoying and another fail for my tastes. And trying to spin laceweight in a backwards longdraw on the Aura, THAT was not happening.  Epic fail on that one. End of story.


Second I used my Louet S70 ST using Louet Art Yarn flyer. I was spinning locks and tails in a bulky to super bulky art yarn and also trying for laceweight in a backward long draw. Same two styles that I tried on the Aura.

Textured yarn on Louet Art Yarn Flyer


Art yarn flyer plus lockspinning on a Louet brings out my happy smiles. It was fabulous and worked like a charm. Don’t get me wrong though, I still think the flyer is ugly compared to my beautiful. Oak S70.


Next I tried using fast speed of 10.5 ratio on 3 speed bobbin to spin laceweight in a backwards long draw. It was so smooth and easy.  No fuss and no musd.  Just sit down and spin.  Just how I like my wheels to be. Rather versatlie wheel with simple to work tension and braking. 


Third I plyed bulky lockspun textured singles with my Ashford Country Spinner. I used a new flyer that was sliding rings vs hooks for the first time. So much better for plying large anounts of lockspun textured yarn than fighting those tails on the hooks.  This is getting a yes from me as well.

Plyed Textured yarn on Ashford Country Spinner Bobbin


I did not even attempt a laceweight in a backwards long draw on the Ashford Country Spinner.  I have spun fine singles on the Country Spinner before but it required a lot of holding the yarn back to build up twist with its low ratios.  That is impossible to do with a backward long draw as the take up is too strong on this wheel naturally.  I had too many tests to do this weekend with my borrowed equipment to waste time on a test I knew was an epic fail to start with. The Country Spinner’s super power is art yarn and bulky yarns. It does poorly at high twist fine yarns.

All the test Textured yarns drying on the rack


Altogether after spinning on all three wheels, I am very happy with  the Louet S70 the most.  Happy is probably an understatement, I have found my wheel for most everything.

All my happy yarns waiting to be used
Spinning Artyarn on Ashford’s Jumbo E Spinner

Spinning Artyarn on Ashford’s Jumbo E Spinner

Ashford Jumbo E Spinner with Artyarn
Ashford Jumbo E Spinner with Artyarn

I just received my new Ashford Jumbo E Spinner. I thought I would do a little review of this new E Spinner. I have never used an e spinner before but I am already used to spinning artyarn on Ashford’s Original Country Spinner and the Ashford Country Spinner 2… so how hard could it be, right?

Spinning artyarn on the new Ashford Jumbo E Spinner
Spinning artyarn on the new Ashford Jumbo E Spinner

I spun this colorway on all three of the Ashford Country Spinning wheels… on my Country Spinner, my Country Spinner 2, and my new Jumbo E Spinner that is the electric Country spinner. Three wheels…..playing on them all. Believe me when I say, the new Ashford Jumbo E Spinner is really just an electric Country Spinner. I did not feel I had any real learning curve on it at all.

The tension on the Jumbo E Spinner was exactly the same as the treadle Country Spinners. It is Irish or bobbin led tension with a leather strap for a brake band. Spinning artyarn felt the same minus the treadle part with my feet. The foot pedal that comes with the wheel has two settings. One is a click to turn on and a click for off. The other you already have your foot on it when you turn it on, so when you let your foot off it stops. You essentially need to hold your foot on it like a sewing machine or gas pedal. I chose this method. That allowed me a bit of a connection with my feet while I was spinning artyarn and to me felt more like a treadle wheel than I had hoped for.

I found that I spun with the brake band off entirely just as I do with my original Country Spinner until I was about 3/4 of the way full through the 3 lb. bobbin. I only used the brake lightly on the last 25% of that bobbin. When spinning artyarn singles, I usually spun between 50-75% speed. When plying, I was always at 75% or a tad faster for speed.

The motor was quiet enough for me to spin on the Jumbo E Spinner and watch shows on my tablet without struggling to hear. It has a lovely slow start and slow down so there was no jerking or sudden stops which can cause tangles in your yarn. It only took a few hours and my bobbin was jammed packed with another well on it’s way to being full also.

Spinning artyarn with spirals
Spinning artyarn with spirals

This is the second color way that I have recently been spinning to stock the store with artyarn. I have photos of the artyarn on the bobbin and newly skeined. Also more photos as they have been washed, the twist set, dried on the rack and am about to box up…. thought you might like to see them all pretty.

Artyarn drying on the rack by the fire
Artyarn drying on the rack by the fire

9 new skeins of art yarn…spirals, thick and thin, and baubles. Thread plyed with 2 threads held as one…a silver rayon and a turquoise metallic. I spun all of this artyarn from hand carded Art batts I made on my Louet drum carder which contained bamboo, silk, milk, alpaca, llama, and dyed medium sheep wool. Most of the fibers are from our Colorado ranch and a friend’s CO ranch before we moved back to Michigan. I thought it time to spin them.

Ashford Jumbo E Spinner with artyarn
Ashford Jumbo E Spinner with artyarn

Updated May 10, 2020:

What else do you want to know about the Jumbo e spinner? After more than a year spinning on my Ashford Jumbo espinner, I still like it. A lot. It has made me a faster spinner. I draft much faster now and spin on 75% speed orca tad faster. I can go faster, I make myself stay there so I do not tax anything because most times I settle in for 2-6 hours of spinning and barely move. I know…horrible for ergonomics! I have spun an even smooth traditional 2 ply yarn on it. My most favorite yarn to spin is handspun yarn of the textured yarn persuasion. I lock spin frequently and even if spinning art batts, the textured yarn is generally created from locks squished in here and there and everywhere.

Bobbin holds nearly 2.5-3 lbs fiber. Has slow stop/start. Strong take up for art yarn. Foot pedal has 2 ways to configure using. Has 2 reducers. Uummmmmm…unsure what else one would want to know. I use battery almost exclusively but have car charger and wall chords as well.

I have fallen asleep more than once while spinning but since I have my foot pedal set so I need to apply pressure to go…like a gas pedal…no disasters. Haha

I have taken it to meetings or left it set up at home to spin at any time. I demonstrated it at the Michigan Fiber Festival in fall of 2019. I have spun for hours…4-5 hrs without hardly moving even once…which was fine for the spinner but heck on my body. Very little adjustments or tweaking required. Sit and spin.

I did not want to like it. Hated idea of using an electric…eck pleughy….but found I love it. It is afterall only a tool. And tools are as good or bad as you make them. I do still prefer to treadle and I CAN treadle, so I just decided 2 days ago to sell my Ashford espinner and down size my wheels even more. I have not been spinning as much and have 3 other jealous wheels. I will buy another espinner later if I ever get to point of no longer able to treadle.

I decided a month ago to go back to spinning for me and my weaving and not spin production so my current stable of 3 Country Spinner in different versions is a bit over kill. I have the original CS in the A frame, CS2, and Ashford espinner jumbo which is an electric CS.

I decided to sell my CS2 and my espinner Jumbo. Keeping only my original CS. It was my 1st wheel so I am sentimental about it.

I got the Jumbo Espinner because I was having hip issues and worried I would no longer be able to treadle. Turns out I need to move more…no more spinning for 6 hrs without moving, and I needed a different chair higher because I am so tall and long legged. Those changes mean I can still treadle which I prefer to do. It’s my meditation.

I have no delusions I will most likely buy another espinner down the road…but I have made peace with using them and will gladly buy another when needed…hopefully years away.