Help Choosing a Wheel

I thought I would ask here for a little help since I know next to nothing about this.

The wheels I am debating between are

Ashford Traveler

Ashford Traditional

Kromski Minstrel



I guess what I want to know is where am I going to get the most bang for my buck. I want a wheel I can grow with and add to as money and skill allows. I want to choose carefully because this could be the only wheel I will be able to get. Convincing dh that I would need to up grade would be next to impossible, but tell him I want to get something to go with what I have would be more doable.:teehee:

So what do yall think.:??

I have read some basics. About double treadle/single treadle and the types of drives. But then my head starts to spin. I really need some hand holding here.

Here’s one more thing to read:
It may help you make up your mind.

I have a Fidelis from Heavenly Handspinning& it’s FANTASTIC!!! (not to mention lots cheaper than the other wheels out there, so you can spend the left over $ on fiber!;))

I own a Traveller (double treadel, double drive with optional scotch tension) and it was my main wheel for 6 years. The only upgrade I did was purchase the Jumbo Bobbin kit so I could ply to regular bobbins onto a single Jumbo bobbin.
I bought a Kromski Sonata last year since I needed a wheel to take with me on airplanes.
I use my Sonata as my main wheel now and the Traveller with the Jumbo Bobbin to ply on.

Is your Sonata single or double treadle? Which of your wheels to do think is the most flexible?

The Sonata is a DT. Of the wheels you listed, I only have experience with the Traveller.

This was my only production wheel for 6 years and if it wasn’t for having to travel for business a week at a time, I would never had gotten the Sonata. I’m glad I did, because it is a wonderful wheel!

The Traveller was able to spin everything from very fine (40 wpi+) to medium bulky with the regular bobbin. With the addition of the jumbo bobbin, I was able to spin much bulkier yarns.


i have a ST ashford traditional and i love it
mine is older… i can spin any kind of yarn i want on it.
as mullerslane said… lace to medium bulky with the regular flyer and much bulkier with the jumbo flyer.

I spin just about everything with my jumbo flyer.

the only thing against the traditional is that it’s not travel friendly…but thats not a big concern of mine

as far as upgrading goes… most wheels now have lace or jumbo/bulky flyers and bobbins available for them… if you need one or not would depend on what kind of yarns you want to spin

I’ve had my Traveler for about 6 years now and I love it. It is a double treadle, single drive with scotch tension. Like you I couldn’t afford to spend alot when I was buying a wheel and it has turned out to be a great choice for me. I am also able to spin from very fine to about a medium bulky so I have no complaints about the type of yarns I can make. The double treadle was easier for me to start on because it kept my yarns more even and consistant but even now I still love the double treadle. When I go to purchase my next wheel I will most likely still be looking at double treadle options.

My wife and son both spin (with peddle’s) they have both the Ashford Kiwi, and the Traveler (with the Jumbo Flier), along with a Babe-Production.

They use each for a specific thing. The Kiwi is wonderful for Angora, the Traveler is for Alpaca & sheep, the Production is wonderful for plying. And me, I’m a drop spindle and Walking Wheel spinner. I can spin “almost” as fast as they can w/ my walking wheel. Then I like to ply with a drop spindle, that’s the fastest!

It all depends what you like, we find the Kiwi to be the easiest to travel with (it lays flat nicely). But we usually take them all to a fiber-fest when we go. As long as I have 48" of horizontal space, my walking wheel travels as well as the rest.

Go to an event, see how every one does w/ their wheel. Try out a few & see what you like. Most vendors should let you practice before you buy!

Good luck picking one…


I have to agree with Knitasha that this link is the most comprehensive and helpful read in regards to someone interested in acquiring their first spinning wheel.