Spinning Wheels for Beginners

Hi everyone,
I know it's been a long time since I've posted, but I've still been lurking around in the background. So I've just filed my taxes for the year, and I know my first plan for return is to finally buy a spinning wheel. The problem is I'm not really sure of what I want. I know a few of you here are spinners, so I was wondering if you had any wheel suggestions for a somewhat beginning spinner. I've done quite a bit of spinning on drop spindles, but it's not as productive as I would like. Now I know I should go and try out a bunch of wheels at a store, but I really can't do that. The nearest store is about a half hour from me, and I don't have a reliable car to get me there. After doing a bit of research online, I think I'll be either purchasing an Ashford traditional or a Louet s17. I would like to stay under or around 500 dollars so price is a bit of a factor. But I would like to know what you guys thought and opinions on these wheels, or if you have any other wheel suggestions. Thanks


albert's picture

My first spinning wheel was a Louet about 25 years ago; I loved it. I have a Frike wheel now which was not too expensive, about $200. if I remember correctly and I find it quite adequate for my needs, but I am not a highly technical spinner.

Kilthoser's picture

I had the same nail-biting decision two Christmases ago; I did a lot of research and finally asked Santa for a Kromski Minstrel, which is 'castle wheel', so that it doesn't take up a lot of space but has a lot of possible spinning ratios (which BTW I'm finding I have a problem with: too much twist)...plus while it's a dual treadle it can be made to work with scotch tension. I really like it, and when I get more experienced, i can add a distaff to spin flax. The Ashford traditional does look like it's also very flexible too!

Mine is also a double drive, which I also like. When the tension is properly adjusted, the bobbin moves separately from the wheel so you can wind the completed yarn on more easily without stopping your feet action.

I can also suggest a good book that helped me move from spinning on a spindle to learning how to use a wheel. It's " Hands on Spinning" by Lee Raven. Lot's of pictures, drawings and details to help out. I refer to it constantly.

good luck with the decision and purchase. It's almost as much fun as buying a new car, but without the loan payments!
Body by God; shetland socks courtesy of Fred

"Body by God; shetland socks courtesy of Fred"

superi's picture

Wow, I've never heard of the Frike wheels. They look very similiar to the Louets. May I ask, what made you switch?



albert's picture

I actually didn't switch; I lost my original Louet in a move, and when the time came to get a replacement the Fricke was more in my price range. I like them both, but the Louet has a certain nostalgia for me as it was my first wheel.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Not familiar with the Frike but Louets and Ashfords are a nice beginning wheel. Comfortable to spin with and pretty versatile. Have a lot of fun...I own a classic Ashford Traditional (early 1970s) but mainly use drop spindles for what little spinning I actually do. [Easier to transport and demonstrate with.] Have fun. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

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

teejtc's picture

I got a wheel a little over a half a year ago. I was wisely advised to find a shop that had several different wheels to try, and DID end up playing a bit with a few wheels at our local fiber festival. It's good advice. In the end, however, I'll admit, I went with a Kromski Minstrel. Why? I knew I wanted a double treadle, I liked the castle style and... quite frankly.. I fell in love with it. (I know.. terrible way to make such a decision, but it worked. I love it.)

Grace and Peace,