Ask Nancy: New Spinner Suggestions

Got weaving problems? Stumped by your spinning? Our resident expert Nancy Reid will answer all of your burning questions in this new regular feature! Previously only available on our newsletter, we are moving Nancy’s informative column over to the Woolery blog for easy reference. In this month’s edition, we are sharing a few questions about fiber prep; to ask your own question, email weavernancy@woolery.com orclick here to post your questions in our Ravelry group

All the Best,

Wave, Perri, and the entire Woolery Team

 

ashford_joy_2_spinning_wheel_-_single_treadle_-_combo_wbag_3Q:

I am interested in getting a spinning wheel for my wife for Christmas. She wants to learn to spin so it needs to be one that would be easy to use.  Since we go to Florida for three months, I am leaning toward one that folds.  Price is also a consideration.  What wheels do you recommend?

A:

The learning curve in spinning wheels is about the same no matter what wheel one uses; the first couple of hours are just an awkward time, no matter the wheel, and there is a steep learning curve.  As long as the wheel is not too awfully fast, or at least able to be slowed down, they are all about the same experience as far as the ease of learning goes.

For folding wheels in a medium price range, look at the Kromski Sonata, the Ashford Joy, and the Lendrum Original.  Those are the best of the bunch in folding wheels! Let us know if there’s anything else you need!

Q:

I am a new spinner, which spindle would you recommend for angora?

A:

That’s either 2 separate questions or a question with 2 answers!

Angora, because it is so warm, is usually spun very finely, lest you need to move to the Arctic to wear it; and fine spinning needs a very light-weight spindle.

However, fine spinning is not going to be what a neophyte will be spinning, especially not with Angora, which is a slippery and difficult fiber, especially for a beginner.  So I would counsel you to start with at least half-a-pound of wool first, and get through that before you tackle angora; look for something in the 1 to 1 1/2 oz range for that. Hope this helps!

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2 responses to “Ask Nancy: New Spinner Suggestions

  1. She might need to blend the angora with a soft wool such as BFL which is blue face Leicester, Merino, Cheviot. Blend 60% Angora with 40% Sheep Wool using hand cards. This will assist in spinning the angora until you gain the skills. There are 4 Breeds of Angora, there is the English, Satin, French, and the Giant Angora. Each Breed has their own wool characteristics. The Giant Angora can be spun with out blending the fiber with another wool. However it will take a lot of practice with spinning the Angora by itself without blending it with a soft sheep wool. I would recommend purchasing a Book Titled – A Handbook for Spinners – Angora. The Author is Erica Lynne. The Author of the Book talks about the fiber, working with angora fiber with regards to fiber preparation, Spinning Angora, Beautiful Blends. Producing your own fiber. It is very information, helpful, ideas with working with the Angora Fibers.

  2. I learned how to spin angora on my Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel. I had the flyer driven wheel. My flyer had 3 different speeds. I started out on the middle speed after I learned how to spin wool. I always blended my French Angora and English Angora with a soft Merino Sheep Wool using the 60% Angora to 40% Merino Sheep wool with my Cotton Hand Cards. The teeth on the Cotton Hand Cards are softer than the Wool Hand Cards.I always spin my angora on the middle whorl on the flyer.

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