Learning to spin

I am just at the beginning of learning to spin. I started on a wheel that my father made - which is for a left hander. I now have a Wee Peggy. A friend who is an experienced spinner has been showing me what to do. Here’s my problem - I don’t know how to get past the ‘flat’ spot when pedalling. I seem to get the wheel to turn once or twice and then it reverses or ‘sticks’. Meanwhile my starter wool has disappeared down the orifice on its own. Any hints greatly appreciated!

It’s just learning the nuances of your wheel.

Practice treadling without any fiber, make sure it is well oiled, especially the treadle points.

Yep you need to practice treadling for a while till you get to where you can do it without thinking…then you can start spinning your fiber. That was how I was taught to do it. Also when you get to spinning make sure your roving is long enough so it wont get sucked thru the orfice. I love spinning, its just finding the time.

Also, sit at the wheel so your hands are [U]not [/U]right up by the orifice. This helps with not having your fiber sucked onto the bobbin so quickly and saves your back from leaning towards the orifice.

I had an extended spinning lesson Sunday afternoon. I, too, made the wheel “stick” when either foot would be all the way up or all the way down. Drat.

It turned out that, treadling on the shop’s wheel, there was a lot of “stuff” in there. The instructor oiled the oil points and that made a big difference; then she showed me how to take the bobbin off and re-assemble the bobbin/whorl assembly and clean and oil it.

This second oiling really made a big difference in how easily I could treadle without getting “stuck.”

So make sure the spinning wheel has all the necessary lubrication and then practice. I worked wearing my socks rather than socks + shoes, and I had to get my feet right up under the wheel to begin with. Depending on the particular machine, you might want to focus on treadling with most of the impetus coming from your toes or your heel rather than your “foot” as a whole.

Fun, isn’t it?


DogCatMom made a great observation. Wearing only socks (or barefoot) so you can feel the wheel helps out a lot.

Also the placement of your foot on the treadle. Some wheels you need your whole foot on the treadle, some treadle well with just your toes on the treadle

Some wheels treadle fine using only pressure from your toe, others the heel and yet others need pressure from both toe & heel.

Just keep practicing and you’ll soon find the sweet spot!