We offer the entire Schacht line complete with bobbins and parts in our brick and mortar shop and online. Ashford are a great choice for spinners that are looking for a nice wheel to use that is also a terrific value. We have one of the largest collections of wool roving from around the world including Yak, Cashmere and Exotic Wools and Silk fibers. Call us anytime at the shop with questions about any of our Spinning Wheels, Fibers, or Drum Carders we sell, we are one of the few online shops that have a very knowledgeable staff and are happy to help.
Got an old wheel that needs some love? We carry kits to refresh your old Ashford called the Ashford Maintenance kit. These are great for older wheels that need to have the brake band or spring replaced and they come complete with footman connectors and oil. We also carry all natural wood conditioner made from bees wax that is great for restoring older wood called Howard's Feed and Wax.
Wondering about which fiber is best for learning to spin or what wheel is best for learning to spin? The nicer ones we sell are actually the easiest to learn on like the Schacht Matchless or our Paradise Revolution Spinning Wheel. If you are uncertain of if you are going to like spinning and have not tried it yet you may want to get a less expensive wheel like the Kiwi or maybe the Kromski Fantasia which are more moderately priced. You can always call the shop with questions, we can help and are here 7 days a week. We have years of experience and can help find which wheel will fit you perfectly 1-888-320-7746.
Here are a few tips for choosing your first spinning wheel
When choosing your first wheel you have to ask a few questions. What type of yarn do you want to create? If you want to create thin to standard worsted thickness yarns you will be fine with any of the common wheels like the Ashford Traveler, Kromski Sonata or the Lendrum Folding. if you are interested in making thick and wild artyarn style yarn you will need to get a wheel that either has a very large orifice or opening where the yarn is spun. If you love artyarns and thicker spinning, make sure you have the option of adding a jumbo or bulky flyer head so you can spin the thicker yarns. Looking to spin ultra-thin yarn like a spiders web? To spin ultra-thin fibers you need to have a wheel that is well balanced and set to spin yarn at high speeds. Spinning at high speeds allows more control and ease of making really thin yarn like lace weight. Some manufacturers will refer to the attachment to perform thin style spinning as a lace whorl or a high speed flyer attachment or high speed head. Be aware that some of the small travel type that are highly portable do not offer high speed or jumbo head attachment and are not as versatile.
Do you need your spinning wheel to be portable? It's a nice option to have the ability to bring it to events and friend's homes or for traveling on holiday. You will sacrifice stability and sometimes features in some cases when you choose a travelling wheel but they are convenient. The Lendrum, Ashford Traveler and Louet Victoria are some of our popular travelling wheels with a small footprint and most of them fold up for travel and storage.
What is Double Drive, Single Drive or Scotch Tension? Scotch tension is actually the same thing as Single Drive and can be used interchangeably in reference. Single Drive or Double Drive are terms that have nothing to do with the treadles or pedals on the spinning wheel so don’t get confused. The Single Drive system of spinning yarn uses the main drive wheel to spin the flyer which spins the bobbin. Then the bobbin is slowed by the brake band which is a thin string tied over the bobbin attached to an adjustment knob. The more pressure the string applies to the bobbin the more it will slow down. The difference in turning speeds between the bobbin and the flyer is what creates your twist in your yarn. The Double Drive system is often thought of as a superior system of making yarn. It involves using a drive band that is twice the length of a single drive band and folding it over itself in a figure 8. The drive bands are looped over the flyer like normal but then the other loop goes over the bobbin. This turns the bobbin and the flyer together for positive drive without any brake to slow it so it’s much more efficient. Also, double drive allows for a more consistent experience because the ratios can be much more accurate. Since you don’t have a brake band you don’t have to constantly adjust your wheel as the bobbin fills up. Also, all of our Double Drive wheels can be used in single drive mode! If possible we recommend to always get a double drive wheel so you have more options in your spinning.
What if I have a problem with my spinning wheel, how can I get parts?
We carry a wide variety of wheels from around the world and from wheel makers here in the United States. We carry an incredible amount of parts for the entire line of Ashford, if you ever need an Ashford part we are the place. If we don’t have it in stock we can get it usually overnight from Seattle so you will never wait on Ashford parts. Our Paradise Revolution Spinning Wheel is made right here in Spokane so parts are never a problem and always in stock for it. Some of the other wheels are harder to get parts for like Schacht and Kromski. Schacht are made in Colorado and have some incredible designs but they are known to get backed up especially during the holidays and parts can be weeks to get sometimes so order early. Kromski offers parts but since the wheels come from Poland they can sometimes take a while to arrive and are hard to identify with no part numbers but they are pretty and very functional.
Lendrum makes a great wheel and although we stock the most common parts like tension knobs and orifice hooks…if we don’t have it in stock you could be out of luck for a long time. Typically you don't need to worry about spare parts unless you are subjecting your wheel to adverse conditions like a child attack or dog attack. The Lendrum is one of the most popular wheels out there besides the Ashford as the Lendrum comes with quite a few added accessories in the complete kit like the Jumbo Flyer. It is also one of the few collapsible wheels that really works great and does have a jumbo flyer included in the Complete Package which is the only one we typically sell.
What style of wheel do you like aesthetically? Do you prefer classic old school with the beautiful curves and arcs in the larger design or do you need a more modern design that can really turn out some yarn production style? There are also spinning wheels that have 2 pedals or Treadles rather than 1, do I need two? Two treadles are very common on most modern wheels and the most popular. When treadling you'll find the action smoother overall and more relaxing with the two treadle design over the single. Most of the re-enactors and spinners looking for traditional type will have single treadles as this is often required for certain applications where time period is of concern.
There are many questions that will come up when choosing your wheel, make sure to call or email if you need anything, we are here to help and know our stuff, we even build high end spinning wheels right here at the shop! We can also help choose some great wool roving to go with your new wheel, just ask, we are happy to help 1-888-320-7746.