Babes fiber garden spinning wheels?

anyone use this wheelor a similar model? i saw it at my LYS and just found it online and can’t believe the price! is it a piece of garbage or a good beginner wheel? i think they are very cool looking and easy to store and won’t take up a lot of space… i might actually be able to convince DH to get this for me :slight_smile:

Silver learned to spin on one – I’m sure she will come by and tell you all about it :slight_smile:

I looked at the wheel your asking about and the ashford kiwi…I don’t know how to do links…and I ended up spending the extra $90 for the kiwi…I’m a new spinning and it’s a great wheel, I have spun alpaca, wool, and silk on it with little to no difficulty, the only difficulty I have had is in my own techniques! I’ve heard good and bad things about the Babe … just thought I would add my two cents

Here is my two cents. I know that a lot of people have had good luck with the babe (I know a couple ladies who refuse to use any other wheels). I bought one on ebay for way cheap and it was good for me to start with (I wasn’t sure that I would like spinning so I went with the cheapest wheel possible) I really am not all that fond of it. It wobbles badly when I spin which is highly annoying. A friend of mine let me borrow her wheel (a clemes and clemes) and the yarn that I am spinning with this wheel is so much better.

I guess what I am saying is try it before you buy it if you can. Buying a wheel is a highly personal thing. :shrug:

Like I said there are lots of people who do like it so you never know! :wink:

i know my LYS is listed as a dealer for the babe, so i might see if i can try one out this thursday before i decide. i just sort of have no idea what all the ratios mean. i know i’d like one that has a lazy kate(?) to make plied yarns easier… and i’d like to be able to make a wide range of yarn weights too.

anyone have any other suggestions for less expensive wheels? like no more than $250? thanks for any advice. i just dont want to buy a bad wheel :slight_smile:

I was/am looking at the Babe wheel, too. I haven’t seen one in person yet, and haven’t found any second-hand ones for sale.

But today I tried out an Ashford Traveler at my LYS (which isn’t very local, but that’s another story), and fell in love with it. Even though it cost 2 1/2 times as much as the Babe, it might well be worth the wait for me.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the lazy kate…I have one and I still use a cardboard box with holes punched in the sides (BBQ skewers holding the bobbins) most of the time because it’s more convenient for me. :teehee:

As far as bargain wheels go…I still think Fricke is one of the best deals you’ll find. The single-treadle is $272 and the double is $323…not much more than a Babe, and there are five ratios. I just :heart: my Fricke :slight_smile:

If you’d consider a used wheel, there are often deals to be had here:

opinions on a louet s50 or similar?..

Yes, I started on a Babe Fiber Starter. I bought it because I wasn’t sure I’d even like spinning on a wheel and didn’t want to spend much.

The Babe is a perfectly fine inexpensive [I]learning[/I] wheel. It is not a wheel for an experienced spinner. I would only recommend it for the beginner who wants to try wheel spinning. It is wobbly, but I solved that by filling the base PVC pieces with sand to weight it down, which made a HUGE difference.

The best thing about a Babe is that it retains it’s value pretty well so when you feel like you’re ready for a “real” spinning wheel, you can sell your Babe. I sold mine on ebay and only lost like $50 on the purchase price.

There are better wheels for just a little more money, but I know when money is tight, $100 is a lot. The Babe is a fun toy, albeit a little wonky and cheap looking. But you could always paint it! :slight_smile:

PS… it’s a little cheaper on the Babe website. :wink:

does this look like a good wheel?

thanks or any advice!

It is a handmade wheel. Looks durable.

Things to consider:

  1. You don’t have much option for ratios
  2. When you want more bobbins, where do you get them??
  3. The drive wheel is quite small, which means you’ll have to treadle more to spin the same amount of yarn than if the drive wheel was larger.

With the Babe, get on Nels’ website - he has a great selection of wheels, including some electric. I’ve spun on one of his electric wheels (with & without a Woolee Winder) and I really liked them.

i won the auction! :yay: :woot: $165 total free shipping! i cannot wait for it to get here. i think i will weight it down when i do spin :slight_smile: thanks for the tip!:muah:

Congratulations! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!

Which one did you win? I have been reading over the posts here because I have been looking for spinners on Ebay myself. I showed DH the Babes spinner and he just laughed at it " That’s just pvc and they want $200 for it ?" My DH thinks his Tim Allen’s brother, if he see it he thinks he can make it.

I post on general asking about spinning. I think I’d like to try it.But I wanted to hear from others first before I made such an expensive investment. I got some good feedback and advice. My biggest question is if I do buy a wheel…as a beginner which wheel should I buy . I don’t want to spend hundreds on dollars on something that I may not like doing. And where do you get the finished wool product to spin?

DH thinks I should start with the drop spindle and see if I like doing it first. What do you all think about that?? I checked out drop spindles and there are alot of different ones out there. Which one would you recommend???:whoosh:


this is the auction i won

i actually never bought a ‘proper’ spindle. i did buy a great spindle from shandeh. she made it from cds and dowel! very cool.
i think figuring out if you even like spinning first is best before you spend $$$

i did some research on prices and knew what my limit was. my LYS carries the babes and ashfords. i want an ashford, but i can only afford a babe. i got lucky and found one on ebay and figured i could spend up to the same on it as in the LYS. i got it cheaper. so i am excited to get it here and set it up and try it out. :slight_smile:

I think that is a good idea.

The least expensive way would be to build your own spindle.

Check out this site for learning how to use a spindle

As for your ‘best’ starting wheel? Depends on the spinner and the type of yarn you want to spin. My DH bought my first wheel for me. He sought the advice of Susan McFarland of Susan’s Fiber Shop. She recommended the Ashford Traveler, double treadel, double drive with optional scotch tension. I have been tremendously happy with it.

You did get theh Babe! I thought you might have won the homemade wheel. :yay: for you!!

Where to get prepared fiber?? There are tons of places!

I’m pretty frugal and have found a few places where the fiber is out of this world and the prices are low.

Carol Lee and The Sheep Shed Studio gets mill end roving from The Brown Sheep mill

R.H. Lindsey has both raw and prepared wool

I buy a lot of raw fleece straight from shepherds also and prepare them myself.

Congrats on the Babe! I hope you love it. Mine was the reason I fell in love with spinning. I never really liked spinning on a spindle, but I couldn’t leave that Babe alone when I got it. Have fun and keep us updated! :slight_smile:

My favorite online source for fiber is Prices are outstanding, and he ships very quickly. I’ve bought all sorts of fiber from him, (the Blue Faced Leicester being my favorite) and I’ve never been disappointed.

The copper moose has wonderful colorways that you can’t get anywhere else!

I also like to get Brown Sheep mill ends from Carol Lee at:

and natural colored fleeces & rovings from R.H. Lindsay

thanks for the fiber suppliers! i need to get the hang of tensioning, then i can start real spinning :wink: my first attempt was overspun, twisting back, and a general mess! :lol:

and in a couple of years from now, you’ll want to make a designer yarn like this and won’t be able to!!! Enjoy it while you can spin this way!!