Is it easier to spin with a wheel, or what?

I tried spinning with a drop spindle, and it wasn’t all too exciting to me, and the roving kept breaking off (I was spinning a thin yarn) So now I’m like “eh” about the whole thing. Is it easier/better to spin with a wheel? Sounds like it might be nicer, but my experience is that I could only spin thin yarn now. I tried making it thicker, but it just wasn’t working.

Since my wheel is still in pieces in the basement I can’t tell you if it is any easier…

But if your fiber keeps breaking as you are drafting you may be holding your hands too far apart. If you are drafting out farther than the length of the original strands the fibers can come apart.

I find it way easier personally to spin on a wheel compared to a drop spindle. There are people who swear by their spindles, but I like my wheel. It doesn’t hurt my shoulder nearly as much and doesn’t require as much coordination!

I love my wheel too. I hated using a drop spindle… still do. Ugh, that’s a little TOO hands-on for me. However, using a wheel takes as much patience in the beginning as a spindle does. It takes time to learn to coordinate your hands and feet… kinda like riding a bike. But once you get it, it’s hard to forget. :slight_smile:

Another wheel advocate here, but I endorse going to a yarn shop or finding a friedn with a wheel to try out for a couple hours before deciding.

I did a drop spindle on and off for a couple months with minimal results, but then spun on a friends wheel and even though her wheel was handicapped I could tell I loved it. It just depends. I’ve seen people, especially oon the boards, who are masters with the spindles…so much so that they spindle spin yarn to save up for a wheel, and make it in a couple months. Amazing. (makes me pissed off that I wasted my teenage years on Letterman and cuttin gpictures of David Duchovny out of mags.)

LOL! Well, I suck on my spindle…I only did it for a day and a half a while back, but I just didnt find it too appealing to my tastes, but I do think it would be nice to be able to spin my own yarn :slight_smile: And I have only one knitting friend who lives in a suburb about 30 mins away - keep in mind, I’m car-less lol. And she made me my spindle.

That would be SO neat to have a friend with a wheel! Is a spinning wheel the same thing sleeping beauty had?

Hi! I am new to the group, but not to spinning. I started “playing around” with drop spindles back in the early 80’s with very little success, other than “novelty art yarns”. A few people tried to teach me on a wheel with no success at all. Yarns all broke constantly. Finally, someone loaned us an old Ashford wheel, and I started spinning on that. After a couple of weeks of novelty art yarn, I tried a different technique; folding the wool in half and spinning from the fold. The spinning suddenly changed to a nice, consistant yarn. After doing that for a couple of days, I went back to the drop spindle. Nice, consistant yarns again. OK, the answer to the question: learning on a drop spindle can be very easy. So can a wheel. Getting better on one will most likely improve your spinning on the other. Most of all, have fun!

I’ve done both and like my wheel a lot more. With a spindle there are two factors at play: keeping the spindle spinning and spinning the yarn. With a wheel, its far easier to spin the yarn because you can concentrate more on it.

I just learned to spin using a drop spindle and it is going OK. I learned that I need to pre-draft all of my roving before I spin so I am not doing too many things at once. As I get better, I hope to be able to draft and spin at the same time. I tried a spinning wheel and it required more coordination than I have. I do plan on trying it on a wheel again.

Spinning on a wheel is in some ways easier than with a spindle, but not necessarily at first. As VickiIL said, in regards to your roving breaking off, you may be holding your hands too far apart, but you may also be trying to spin the yarn thinner than the spindle is made for. There are different weights for spindles, and if you want the really fine stuff, you must have a lace-weight spindle. Personally, I like both wheel and spindle spinning. I found once I got the hang of using the drop spindle, it wasn’t really any harder than the wheel, just different. And more physical.

I’ve actually never used a spindle at all, only wheels, but I’ve heard that learning the basics of drafting can be easier since you don’t have to try and coordinate your feet with everything else. But in the end, once you know what you’re doing, I’ve heard that a wheel can be a lot easier and I know several people that were tempted to give up spinning altogether after spinning on a drop-spindle but gave it one more try with a wheel and loved it.

Some people suggest learning on a drop-spindle, but others warn against that because of the many people that come away frustrated and won’t even give a wheel a chance because bad experiences with drop-spindles.

That said I know people who own both drop spindle and wheels and use both as their time and space allows.

I would vote yes. I learned to spin with a spindle and then switched over to a wheel in short order. It did help to have the spindle. I may go back and do a little spinning with the spindle just to see it its gotten better from my practice on the wheel.