What is my favorite wheel to spin yarn?

What is my favorite wheel to spin yarn?

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.

Goddess ready to spin fluff and fiber

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.

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.

Ashford Country Spinner 1 at a demo festival

Putzy for fun on my own or a spin circle locally for an hour or 2…bulky to thin….a vintage Louet.

Vintage Louet S70

Putzy but feeling funky and weird…spinning for an hour or 2….Moswolt M1. Medium to Bulky.

Moswolt M1

Hanging at home and spinning super fine…I prefer a supported spindle.

Goddess, nostepin, and companion

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.

Lockspinning on a Ashford CS1

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.

Vintage Louet S70

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.

Mozzie, the Moswolt M1 Spinning Wheel

Mozzie, the Moswolt M1 Spinning Wheel

Last week I test drove a unique old artisan spinning wheel. A Moswolt M1 Spinning Wheel. Meet Mozzie…..

Moswolt M1 Spinning Wheel

Mozzie is a bit clunkity and talks and chatters, but he is a workhorse beast. It is the first single treadle wheel I have ever owned. He has one speed ratio of about a 4:1. His orifice is a half inch and my lockspun bulky yarn just slide right on through. The flyer has hooks all down each side and surprisingly my lock spun yarn rarely caught on any hooks. It seems one does not HAVE TO HAVE a giant orifice or sliding ring guides to spin bulky lockspun yarn. One has to have smooth hooks with no burrs or sharp bits.

Big bobbin

His bobbins are super big, holding approximately 10-12 ounces of yarn. The take up is strong and most times I spun with the brake off. Even at this slow ratio, I was able to do a modified backwards long draw down to a rather fine yarn. It felt faster than my Country Spinner 1 which is also a 4:1 ratio. I was able lockspin finer and backdraft long draw, which I just don’t seem to be able to do on my CS1. So being all things equal ratio wise, I have no idea why I can spin fine on Mozzie. I guess he did not read the spinning book rules and has his own ideas.

Mozzie Art Yarn

Mozzie really shines doing a 5 Bulky Art Yarn. The strong takeup creates a bulky weight lockspun art yarn quickly. I spun up a bobbin of my favorite locks and than thread plyed them off with a lace weight angora yarn. I had approximately 69-70 yards of Mozzie Spiral Art Yarn. Not too bad for a first Art Yarn skein.

Mozzie Textured Lockspun Art Yarn
Leicester Longwool Sheep at Alba Ranch

Leicester Longwool Sheep at Alba Ranch

The Leicester Longwool Sheep have arrived. Just a handful for fiber since I have become enamoured with spinning Leicester locks.

Wild Flower Honey Lockspun Textured Art Yarn

Wild Flower Honey Lockspun Textured Art Yarn

Recently Alba Ranch was part of a giveaway with 5 other artists.

Wild Flower Honey Art Yarn Kit was Alba Ranch’s part of the Grand Prize for the Sweeter Than Honey Giveaway.

Wild Flower Honey Yarn Kit

The giveaway featured six artists in various mediums all celebrating bee keepers, bee keeping, and the honey bee. The Grand Prize was a $300 value.

Sweeter Than Honey Giveaway Grand Prize

I was so inspired while creating the Wild Flower Honey Art Yarn Kit, that I created a new colorway just for the shop which is coming soon to the Alba Ranch Shop.

And with even more inspiration, I decided to weave a scarf on my rigid heddle using a second Wild Flower Honey Yarn Kit.

Wild Flower Honey Scarf

If you want to make sure you know when the next giveaway, sale, or new collection will be released…. Sign up for the Alba Ranch Email List at Bit.ly/AlbaRanch

Wild Flower Honey Scarf
Summer Forest Art Yarn Shawl

Summer Forest Art Yarn Shawl

English Leicester Longwool locks dyed and spun into a bulky weight yarn. The locks have been spiral thread plyed with a fine 2 ply laceweight angora yarn.

Summer Forest Art Yarn Shawl

I used a large oversize Tunisian Crochet hook and crocheted this in an open lacy pattern to create movement and drape.

Close up of Summer Forest Art Yarn Stitches

I used a combination of a size Q/15.75 mm and a size R/17mm hooks. I have a lovely pair handturned by Jenkins. I wanted to show off the yarn, the texture, and the curls.

I did crochet and deconstruct this shawl numerous times before I liked the arrangement of colors. But I am pretty pleased with it now that it is in the shop.

Summer Forest Art Yarn Shawl
Carnival  and Purple Passion Lock Spun Textured Yarn

Carnival and Purple Passion Lock Spun Textured Yarn

Got my shawl photographed this evening. I used a giant Tunisian Crochet Hook and a modified double crochet made up stitch I created to get that lacey open effect.

My Shawl all lockspun and hand dyed

Tunisian Crochet Textured Yarn. All homespun yarn was lock spun and hand dyed. The fiber is Leicester Longwool. I lock spun and thread plyed with a fine 2 ply pure pink Angora Rabbit yarn. The spirals and curls are so pretty.

My Art Yarn Shawl

It is a mix of Summer Forest, Carnival, and Purple Passion Lockspun Textured Yarns.

Purple Passion and Carnival Lockspun Textured Art Yarn
Art Yarn Collection

Art Yarn Collection

I have been spinning and spinning art yarn on my new Ashford JUMBO Espinner since January. I wanted to create an Art Yarn Collection of colorways I dye myself and can duplicate close enough for mutiple skeins to work together while still keeping each skein its own unique self.

1st part of collection released

I have been enjoying using the new Ashford JUMBO Espinner so extensively. It has pushed me to be a better spinner and to spin bulky art yarn at a much faster pace than I ever thought would be possible.

Another update and portion released

Most of my yarns are falling in the 5 Bulky category, which is 6-8 WPI. A few are a tad bulkier and pop over into Super Bulky which is 5-6 WPI.

Another release

It is best for knitting or crochet on a larger hook with a simple stitch to show off the texture, spirals and curls, and color.

Such a cozy neutral, could be overdyed

Recommended size 17+ knitting needle and size Q or larger crochet hook for a more open stitch and drape.

Overdyed version, undyed version in shop as well

Weaving with these yarns as weft is also another great option and you can be as creative as you please.

Collection of yarns and pieces all from just ONE CVM fleece

Some skeins are 50 yds and others are 100 yds. Most have a few mutiples although one skein is never exact same as another. The skeins in a colorway will work together color wise.

Merino and Lockspun Merino

Hand wash cold with (LIKE) similar colors. Hang or lay flat to dry.

Iced Sangria Textured Lockspun Art Yarn

Iced Sangria Textured Lockspun Art Yarn

I created a new colorway of Textured Art Yarn for the shop. This is definitely a farm yarn as the beautiful chocolate Argentine llama fleece was grown here at Alba Ranch. I lockspun white mohair lockes into Sangria’s fleece and thread plyed it all with a fine laceweight alpaca boucle yarn. There is so much texture and softness.

Iced Sangria Textured Art Yarn
Drying outside

Sangria is an Argentine llama. There are less than 400 registered Argentine Llamas in the USA. Argentine llamas are very heavy fleeced llamas…she has tuffs from the tip of her ears all the way down to between her toes.

Sangria right before her annual haircut

The fiber is soft and uniform over her entire body. The first year I sheared her, I had 6.4 lbs of fleece to spin into yarn. That is a very serious haircut.

I hand shear the llamas each myself. I take my time and blow the fleece out prior to shearing. This makes for a nicer and cleaner fleece for spinning as well as removes a large portion of dirt and sand. Llamas adore rolling in sand which gets a lots of sand in their fleece. That sand, if not blown out before shearing, will dull the blades quickly.