The wife has decided she needs to try her hand at spinning. Shes mentioned it a few times.

So, off I go to the local auction and try to get a few sheep, alpaca, whatever's there for her to get her raw material from.

Nothing there, nada, zip, zilch.

Then I hit the local antiques store with the hope of finding a spinning wheel for here. Nope , nuthin'.

Not a very good start. I might have to order her one online. I just wanted to surprise her with all the gear so she could just have at it.

Oh well.

I have been knitting mittens like a mad man lately. They keep getting better and better. I am sticking to one simple but lovely pattern. Ive made 4 pairs. Nothing like practice to perfect your knitting.


YarnGuy716's picture

Try Craigslist for a wheel. I see them posted there often.

albert's picture

I think it might be a good idea if you folks try spinning the fleeces of different breeds of sheep before you buy the sheep. You may find that you prefer the wool of one breed over another, so you could then buy that breed of sheep. If there are no fleeces locally, you can find them online by googling spinning fleeces, or breed names, such as romney, cheviot, shetland, romeldale. There are also many online sources of roving, if you prefer not to start with the raw fleece. Two good online sources are, and I suspect you will catch the spinning bug very quickly, and I must warn you, there is no cure,

MasonM's picture

Oddly enough I passed a place in MO a couple of days ago with a "Alpacas for sale" sign out front.


Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste


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WillyG's picture

What pattern are you using for your mittens? I've only knit one pair, and they turned out a bit funky.

sonics's picture


Are so damn easy!

Mine are in stocking stitch. The ones in garter looked a bit...ick.

csmfella's picture

When asked this question I’m always reminded of what I heard in Scotland whilst looking for a set of used bagpipes. That it’s like buying a used cat….hence you never know what you’re in for.

As a spinner for many years I certainly can appreciate the beauty of old spinning wheels however for learning purposes I would suggest a new one for these reasons.
Older wheels may need additional parts and very few of them have large flyers or bobbins. Once you fill a bobbin with a single you (or she) will want to ply two of them together for a balanced 2,3,4…ply.

Many new wheels today include interchangeable heads for spinning or plying. Some of my favorites include Lendrum, Louet, Ashford.

You might check out the different wheels at Susan’s Fiber Shop (are we allowed to post links to businesses?) at:
The Kromski has a wheel called the Sonata that I spun on recently and was very impressed.

The other reason I would suggest a new(er) wheel is single vs. double treadle. I think that double treadle are much easier to learn on. You can use a double treadle as a single treadle (if you like that) but obviously not the other way around.

Hope this helps. John

P.S. I have a used cat and never have a lick of trouble with him. LOL

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

May I suggest trying a drop spindle first? It gives you the chance to learn the basics of drafting and all that is involved in spinning but also lets you find out if you actually enjoy spinning before you commit to a wheel. Lots less cost, too. I have a wheel but use my spindles much more. Besides, finding a wheel is like buying a want to do a hands on trial of several models until you find the one that suits you best. If you have access to a spinning group, it will give you a chance to try several wheels (providing the owners will let you) and pick up lots of pointers. Have fun!! [I add that on purpose...if your wife takes up spinning, I can see you starting also.] -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

I can vouch for the quality of Kromski....and of RH Lindsay. Just pay attention to the micron count. The higher the number...the scratchier the yarn.