My New Wheel!

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Let me introduce you to Herbert, my brand new spinning wheel. After months of completely subtle hints, my family pulled together and bought me my very first spinning wheel for my birthday a couple weeks ago.

I love it! Herbert is a HitchHiker spinning wheel from The Merlin Tree. He is single treadle wheel, but I think (ignore me if I’m wrong) that he can be converted to a double treadle.

I received the wheel on the 26th, but I haven’t spent much time with it. I had read that when you first start out, you should just pedal, get used to the movement. That’s what I focused most on whenever I pulled the wheel out. I have now started to spin actual fiber. My biggest issue is that I’m not confident enough in what I’m doing. When I blank out and focus just on the fiber in my hand, my foot does a good job in keeping things going. The second I think about my foot, the wheel stops or goes backwards. Then the fiber slips off its hook, unwinds, untwists, and it’s just a mess.

Practice, practice, practice!

Overall, I love my wheel! It’s just going to take some time to get used to the movements. I’m ok with that. It took a while to get used to using a drop spindle, too. I’m in no rush. Amp loves the wheel too. While I’m trying to spin, he bites at the wheel or tries to get his paw under it. I haven’t quite figured out what he’s trying to do. Maybe he’s trying to help?

Any tips for a newbie spinner?

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24 thoughts on “My New Wheel!

  1. That is so cool! I am really happy for you – and happy belated birthday!
    I know the Hitchhiker comes in a double, but I don’t know if it is convertible. Sorry. But I have spun on both single and double wheels and find that either is comfortable for me. You are right to practice practice practice. No matter how long I have spun, if I don’t practice when I pick up again after a while, I have to pull out the ratty old fibers and practice before I pull out the good stuff.
    Just don’t think about your feet (right…. that is going to happen! LOL) I find that if I listen to classical music on my headphones I get into a zone, but maybe you will find Led Zeppelin works for you!) Your breathing is important too, especially when you first start out. Your body works smoothly and your wheel does too.
    Enjoy Herbert!

  2. He is beautiful! Your so lucky! My dad is building me a spindle one at the moment – but I really want a flyer. I just had a course on learning to use a wheel and the teacher said it is all about patience and going slow to begin with. My yarn looked lumpy, but I call it artisan! Make sure you pre=draft the wool before you spin, it makes it a lot easier to spin that way and you can concentrate on your feet more.

    Congrats again, he is loverly!

  3. Hello to Herbert, love the name. Congrats on the newest edition to the family. In terms of tips for beginners, I would say just keep practicing, you’ve got some experience with the drop spindle which will give you a leg up, I second the tip for music, or even television something to keep you from focusing on your feet. Best of luck and congrats again.

  4. Congrats! I looooove my wheel. I agree with Curls & Q – 10 minutes a day. And get some not-too precious fibre and just go for it once and a while. Allow yourself to make lots of krap.

  5. Congrats & enjoy your wheel! Just keep practicing- when I got mine I was on it a solid two hours while at a show and got used to it very quick. So when I brought it home, that’s all I did each day in the evenings.

  6. OMG.. this is such a cool present…
    I can’t wait to see you spin it… (Maybe do a video post for us to see??) I’ve never done spinning before and would love to see you do it..
    And before I forgot.. Happy birthday… 😀

  7. Congratulations on your new wheel! Herbert is such a wonderful name !

    I used to have a hitchhiker and Dave is amazing! You can have it converted to a double treadle anytime. And, practice, practice, practice!

    You have now fallen into the rabbit hole of spinning. May your abode have enough room to house all the fiber and yarn your heart desires 🙂

  8. Congratulations. I too spin and at one time had four wheels, I am now down to two, so just to warn you they become addictive. I love to spin and it has saved my sanity many times. I am currently knitting with my own blue faced Leicester spun two years ago and it is very satisfying so I look forward to seeing your spinning.

  9. Yay, new wheel!

    I think the spinning will just come with practice. And some pre-drafting, especially as a beginner, can be useful in speeding up the process (so you’re not going to slow you start going backwards). Also, don’t be afraid of actually stopping the wheel now and then, when you need to. When you’re using a spindle, sometimes you park it, right? Well, same thing. It’s OK (even essential, actually) to stop and start sometimes.

  10. Wow that’s fantastic! Does it pack up small or do you have a good space for it? I think it would be lovely to have it out on display all the time!

    • Mine is pretty small. It comes up to about my knee, maybe mid-thigh at the highest (I’m 5’3 for reference). I have to keep it shut in a separate room when I’m not using it because Amp likes to chew on it.

      • Oh yes I know about having to hide the knitting supplies from pets! I’ve lots many a good bamboo and wooden needle that way. Still love them though!

  11. forget the fibre for a while – just see if you can keep that treadle going smoothly for an hour or two at a time in front of the telly or when you are doing something mindless [ or mindful ] that needs you to be seated for a while. Read a book….. but that treadling needs to be completely and absolutely something that you can do without any thought AND you may need to build those right leg muscles up because you are going to want to spin and spin and spin for hours on end. Ask me how I know ?

  12. After some practice with the spindle I became good at it. With the spinning wheel I only spent like 3 hours in a worskshop and I didn’t get the hang of it completely. I also had to pedal while doing other things as a practice (talking, singing) but I felt that the thing went too fast to be able to feed it correctly. I think you will just need time. Really looking forward to more news!

  13. How neat! You will have so much fun! At first glance, the wheel reminded me of those pictures in books of medieval torture devices — anyway, you’ll get so much pleasure out of making your own beautiful yarn once you get the hang of it, and we’ll be seeing all of your beautiful products posted here in your blog! Congrats!

  14. A new wheel…..that’s so cool! I was so excited when I first got mine too. You’ll get the hang of it in no time. Especially since you already use a drop spindle. It just takes a little practice and before you know it you’ll be spinning up a storm. 🙂 I had trouble to begin with but then it just sorta clicked one day and gradually I got better and better at it. It’s a very relaxing and rewarding passtime!!

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