Spinning wheels are expensive, especially if you've only just got into spinning yarn. But there are ways to take the next step, without spending a fortune. You could buy or make yourself a kick spindle, or you can even make your own DIY Spinning Wheel.
It takes a lot to make your own spinning wheel, and I should know because that's the route I took. But once it's finished it's a great feeling knowing you made it from scratch (and also knowing you've saved a wodge of cash).
Luckily I had some amazing help from my mechanically gifted other-half. Who am I really kidding though? He pretty much made it himself with guidance and poking/prodding from me.
Make Your own DIY Spinning Wheel
I started out looking at what I wanted from a wheel, and looking at pretty ones that drew my eye- I love the Ashford Country Spinner so knew I wanted one with similar capabilities and structure.
Ant and I were considering making the frame ourselves until we stumbled across a NILSOLLE stool in the IKEA bargain corner that was pretty much a godsend and saved us a bunch of time.
Essentially Ant ripped of the top of the stool and mounted a children's bike wheel to the legs. Then using a brake pedal from a car and attaching it to the wheel slightly offset from the centre. We also added a weight to the wheel to help it spin around without constantly having to manhandle it to spin the right way.
Flyers, Bobbins and Whorls, Oh My!
Once the base of it was constructed, it came down to sorting out the most important part of the spinning wheel- the flyer/bobbin. I was going for the scotch tension or bobbin led technique of spinning.
Not wanting to get it wrong I posted on a few facebook groups and messaged my local Spinning Guild for advice. They all pretty much came back with the same advice: 'it'll be less hassle to purchase them'. Not one for snubbing sane advice, I decided to buy a working flyer and bobbin. And oh boy, was that a good investment.
I used the Louet Bulky Yarn bobbin and flyer, thinking if I wanted to upgrade and buy a wheel at a later date, the Louet system was a good choice to go with- it was also specifically made for the types of yarn I wanted to spin. Namely, I really just wanted to spin bulky art yarn.
Drive and Brakes
So we fitted the flyer and bobbin, resting it on a couple of shaped blocks of wood. Ant then proceeded to destroy his tool belt, cutting off a strip to create a brake band from the leather. Using a couple of screws he attached it to the mother of all and over the orifice- voila a brake was made.
Now for the final piece - the drive band. You could go the easy route and purchase one, but I went another direction. I literally just used a piece of clothing elastic and tired it tightly around the wheel, stretching it up over the bobbin whorls - making it super tight and secure.
Boom! The DIY Spinning wheel was finished and ready to spin on. My first attempt took a long time to spin. Admittedly it was my first time spinning on a wheel as well, not just my DIY one. It was a lot of adjusting and general faffery in all honesty.
Let the Spinning commence!
If I had spun on a wheel before building my DIY spinning wheel, I would've known what to expect. I would've also known how to adjust it properly. But, I spent most of my time initially trying to work out the correct tension and tweaking the weight on the wheel. Once I got the hang of how my wheel likes being spun, everything kind of fell into place. Suddenly it felt a lot more natural to spin than with a drop spindle. I am definitely converted to spinning yarn on a wheel.
The adventure with wheels begins!
Do you have a spinning wheel or have you tried making your own? I'd love to hear your experiences, so leave a comment below.
Want more DIY Spinning Wheel inspiration to build your own? Check out my Pinterest board, don't forget to follow.
Thanks for reading! x