Sunday, August 5, 2012

Introducing The Saxony Wheel!

By some miracle, I have acquired an Ashford Saxony spinning wheel (also called a fairy-tale wheel because it is the kind that most people picture when they here about spinning wheels in stories and history). Every so often a place my mom's friend knows of gets used spinning and weaving equipment donated and they sell them at lower prices ($250 for the Ashford). We went out to the place (Fine Line Creative Arts Center) and learned that it is a non-profit organization that teaches spinning, weaving, ceramics, jewelry making, and more! We toured the art gallery and visited the weaving room. They run a yearly class for visually impaired women and all of their work was extraordinary! I would have taken pictures, but the women weren't there to ask if that was okay... The wheel is pretty cool looking, but see for yourself:

Here it is, isn't gorgeous? I would hardly have guessed it was second hand (only a nick here and there)

I also got some naturally colored wool for spinning at historical events (no neon yellows and vibrant pinks there!) Not sure what kind of wool it is but it has a long staple length and is pretty soft!

My parents own an online historical sewing pattern company that sells primarily to reenactors and theatre companies and we attend several events to sell patterns. I absolutely love to dress up in period attire for these events and now I can bring a historically correct spinning wheel and spin! That is why they bought the wheel; it is part of the business (even though I am the only one in the family who can spin so far...)

Now don't think I have forgotten about my precious Ladybug, because, I haven't! This wheel is super awesome to look at and to take to reenactments and festivals, but there is a reason that modern wheel have evolved from their ancestors. 

Exhibit A: The treadle. Singular, one treadle. I think it is easier to get into a rhythm with two treadles and both of your feet are sharing the work so one foot doesn't cramp up after a long time. 

Exhibit B: The tensioning system. This is not the most advanced tensioning system out there and it is a little harder to find the most precise tension since there is no spring, just a cord. (Will have to look into that one...)

Exhibit C: The flyer. This flyer only has a row of hooks on one side of it. I am not sure if you can ply the yarn  by keeping the yarn on the same hooks and just spinning in the same direction? Again, something I will have to look into... I may be spinning only on this and moving it to ply onto the Ladybug.

Exhibit D: The orifice hole. It is really small and I like to play with big bulky art yarns. I already have a little trouble with the Ladybug and wanting a bulky flyer for it... 

So, in short, this wheel is totally awesome looking for historical demonstrations and will be fun for spinning obsessionally but for my everyday use the Ladybug will remain my wheel of choice for practical reasons! 


  1. Your wheels are lovely! I'm jealous! I think some great spinning is headed your way!

  2. Thank you! And thanks for visiting my blog!