Help, I'm in spinning hell

Well, maybe not hell, but I’m feeling pretty stuck with my wheel. Okay, I’ve only had it 10 hours, but I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong, or if this is a silly, or common problem. I start spinning the wheel (clockwise), and while I’m still struggling to get the tension just so, I will slow it down, or even stop and next thing I know the wheel is going in a counter clockwise direction, it all starts unspinning!! YIKES! Is there something simple that I’m missing? Or is it just something that I have to learn to control? Are there any tricks or tips I need to know? Thanks in advance.


I dont spin yet so I can not be of real service - but I suspect you just have new spinner blues.
Remember the first time you drove a car with manual transmission? I bet you can not even remember how to grind the gears - in a few days of practice you wont remember how it felt to spin on your wheel for the first time either.

Thanks for the vote of confidence quirky. You’re probably right, new spinner blues it is. :wink:
I did think I “had it” earlier this evening, but as I added more roving, the wheel started going in the the wrong direction again :doh: I got frustrated and decided that it was time to try again tomorrow. I will keep on trying, I’m sure it will click in the end.

The coordination will come to you - just do a little every day (or as often as you can) and in no time it’ll just click. Because I don’t spin enough, everytime I start up again, I have issues getting back into it :rollseyes: But after a few minutes the rhythm comes back to be.

Thanks Frida, I like your gentle way of saying “yes, you need to get that wheel spinning in the right direction”. Now if only I can convince my DH that it’s me; every time he sees me try and spin he thinks that we have a ‘dud’ wheel - :roflhard:

every time he sees me try and spin he thinks that we have a ‘dud’ wheel -

Aww thats cute! See he has faith in YOU!

Well, this has actually inspired me to dust off my wheel today and spin some alpaca roving that I had bought a few weeks ago. I have a tendancy to spin the wheel fairly fast, giving me a lace weight yarn. Today I decided to try slowing it down a bit to give me a thicker yarn. And OH! was I having problems getting the wheel to stay spinning in the clockwise manner. So I’m totally feeling you today! But eventually I found my rhythm, and I have almost half a bobbin full of pretty alpaca yarn.

But I have to tell you, everytime I stop the wheel and then start it again, it almost always goes in the wrong direction. It’s just the wheel’s nature. Once it starts and gets enough momentum, it’ll continue going in the right direction. Keep it up! :thumbsup:

Thanks so much Frida! I’m so glad that it’s not just me! I actually have had a much better day with the wheel today, still spinning ultra-bulky (well… maybe not quite that bad, but you know what I mean :wink:

I realised that I was using a smaller bobbin, so switched up to a bigger one (is it called larger/slower whorl?) and slowed it all down a little and WHAT A DIFFERENCE. I’m still over-twisting a little, but nowhere near as bad as my first attempt. I’m so happy!

Thanks again for your support, I really appreciate it. I will keep you informed on my progress.


Mine does the same thing when I stop. I usually try to grab it with my hand before it starts going back. What a pain.

Yeah, wheels seem to like to do that! I heard a spinning instructor say once that it took her 3 weeks when she first started, to get the treadle action under control. She recommended practicing treadling just on it’s own, w/o yarn attached, doing it while watching TV or whatever. Spinning is like patting your head, rubbing your belly, and doing a dance step all at the same time. Good to practice the individual parts first! :lol:

Wendy, do you go by Frida as well? I see it is the name of your blog, where does that come from?

isn’t Frida her cat?

Ohhh, is that it? Thanks Koolbreeze!

BTW, Shrodinger: my dad had a cat named Shrodinger. There’s an inside joke there, for physics folks, right? Something to do with Shrodinger the physicist, and cats? :??

“Cat” was the nickname for Schrodingers Theory.
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You found me out Amy and Quirky. That’s kind of where it comes from for me. While I’m not a physicist by any means (I just follow the rules), I found the name a few years ago in a book. I loved it’s connection to this cool cat, and since Cat was already a well used handle, I opted for schrodinger (it all makes sense to me).

Anyway, I really wanted to say thanks to you all for support and advice. I kept sticking at it (just about 15 mins a day) and have now started producing something I’m quite proud of, I posted a picture on my blog to give an idea. All in less than a week!

It is all about rhythm. Amy you hit the nail on the head with the patting your head and rubbing your belly, but since I’m pretty good at that (after practicing as a child - yes, I had no friends), I’m pleased to report that this spinning coming to me pretty well now, keeping the wheel moving is a huge part of keeping it going in the right direction. I also realized that I had the belt on a little too tight, making it very hard to start-up the wheel at times. :doh:

Wendy - sorry I was calling you Frida, :oops: I totally brain freezed, thinking about the webring and just assumed you were Frida (which is a very cool name btw).

My next step will be working on ‘blocking’ my twisty stuff (FINALLY a use for that crockpot gift) and then, gulp, plying. Okay, that’s enough from me, got some fish to ‘fry’ :roflhard:

CAThy - AKA Schrodinger.

and have now started producing something I’m quite proud of
:cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

Thats great! I am a little envious. I put my wheel on layaway though :D.
One day I too shall be a little “twisted” :lol:

My first post so I don’t know yet how all this works. I’ve been spinning for about 17 years and you are all right. It is difficult to get the wheel going the right way when you begin. It does come easier. Some wheels are more prone to this than others just by the way they are made. I use Majicraft mostly and they start and stop where you want them (usually) I also have a Reeves and a Country Craftman and that type goes backward much more.

My biggest problem, and I bet you all know what it’s like, is that I love to knit. Then when I am knitting I am thinking about spinning so I want to spin but then I’m thinking about knitting. Well, you get the idea. I never (well, almost never) get anything done because I always jump to something else.

I attended a fiber fest a couple weeks ago and I could take a trip on what I spent on fiber. At home I had to get started on the prettest. I stopped what I was spinning on and started one I had just bought. One bobbin later I started another color, and on and on. Why do I do this. I think I’m too old for PMS. Some days I should just hang myself but I don’t have enough yarn finished to use for that.