Spinning wheel styles

It’s been a while since I’ve written a love-letter post about my spinning wheel (probably because it’s buried somewhere in the junk…er…craft room).  But maybe a short post about the various styles that wheels can take will inspire me to dig it out.

Saxony wheels – have the parts organized from left to right, with a slanted bench (that’s the flat part in the middle, between wheel and flyer). This is your classic, fairy tale wheel.

My wheel is a Saxony style.

Norwegian wheels – Look just like Saxony wheels, but have a horizontal bench. They also have adjustments to allow you to move the wheel from left to right, relative to the flyer. Very cool, but kind of finicky.

Aunt Geri's new, old wheel.

Castle wheels – The parts are arranged vertically, with the flyer above the wheel instead of next to it. I’ve only spun on one of these, actually the Schact ladybug below, and though it was very compact, I found it needed near-constant adjustment to wind on properly.

“Modern” wheels – most look almost like castle style wheels, but they all have a weird ‘innovation’ of some sort. The only real distinction seems to be that they don’t fall into any of the other categories, because someone just sort of winged it with the design (Can you tell I don’t really like ’em?). Some are foldable…

Charkha wheels – one of the oldest styles, these wheels can be set up on a table or the floor. They are spun by hand, and the wheel must stop to allow the spinner to wind the newly-spun thread onto it. It’s kind of an elaborate extension of a hand spindle really. I bet I’d like to spin on one.

Yes, that is Gandhi spinning on a Charkha wheel.

About cliffhousealpacas

Once upon a time, my dad drove by some funny looking animals standing on little dirt hills in a field. Thus, the dream of an alpaca ranch was born. Now, we are embarking on a grand adventure of raising alpacas and becoming fiber artists.
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