Spinning-Understanding Spinderella, My Wheel


Spinning Wheel


I wanted to continue my spinning series hopefully to help another new spinner out there.

Start Here.

Then Here.

All caught up…Great!

I watched several videos just so I could understand “how” a spinning wheel works.

Knit Picks Spinning Wheel Tutorial  Series-Most Helpful.  When I first began knitting Knit Picks podcast was the first podcast I ever listened too and I learned sooo much from Kelly.  I purchased this book by Hands on Spinning by Lee Raven.  Its not a new book but the principles and techniques are the same.  The book covers spindle and wheel  spinning.

There are several video on explaining the different parts of a wheel so I trust you will research and review.

I had all kinds of issues just getting started

I began treadling…ugh well not exactly.  I would not go around..I mean the big wheel would not go around.  Lesson: I had the footmen on backward.  I went back to the instructions  and switched pedals.  I then took my hand and gave the big wheel(Drive Wheel) and it made one revolution.  Keep in mind I know it sounds silly but when this if your first time and you don’t have any one to ask you forget. So I started again.

I only treadled.

I treadeled more

I went clockwise

I went counter clockwise

Nothing I grabbed some acrylic yarn and tied a slip not around the bobbin and it kept slipping around the bobbin.  I followed Kelly instructions and used yarn instead of fiber. It twisted but didn’t wind on the bobbin. :(.  Ok so I grabbed some Wensleydale combed top from WCMercantile.


I was ready! I added the yarn to my leader and it flew out of my hand but I didn’t lose it..yay but then it was curling crazy and not winding to the bobbin. some of it would wound and some not.  Hmmm This happened to me for about 2 weeks as I spun when.  Here are my observations:

I could treadle both ways

I got the wheel to go in one revolution

I COULD get the flyer to spin and the bobbin to remain still.

Oh my I got something…..something indeed, lol

first yarn

Some of it was twisting…some not.  I couldn’t get it to draft so the twist was running everywhere.  I was getting a twisty mess but that’s ok..I am learning.  I got some fat spots and thin spots.


After my twisty mess I couldn’t get anything  else to wind on the bobbin…. boo!

The yarn and the bobbin were  both spinning a the same speed.  That should not be.  Fail!

I went back to the internet  try and figure it out.  I know it was me since the make, Jerry had spun yarn on it when Spinderella (my wheel) arrived.


The bobbin arrived with spun yarn on it.  Good to know as Jerry tests each wheel before shipping

I wonder if the flyer and the bobbin are stuck together so I took it apart…again….and again….and once more.  Meanwhile  since  I KNOW I am going to be a spinner I ordered more supplies, LOL.  I got an extra bobbin,  a jumbo bobbin and flyer and an extra drive band.  I AM GOING TO BE A SPINNER…..PERIOD


I switched fiber to some BFL…same thing.  I watched Kelly’s videos series again but I had a fresh mind.  Lesson: Walk away.  Process in your mind HOW the wheel works.

This weekend I was refreshed and anew.  I read in the Hands On Spinning that the Bobbin and the Drive wheel move a different speeds.  Ah that solidified it! it does move but at a slower pace as to wind the yarn.  This just replayed in mind over and over.

I sat at my wheel again

used a leader that was wool so it would grab the fiber

grabbed my some new BFL fiber…


This time I was going to think about the wheel.

I was treadling at warp speed at first, what if I slow down, that way even if the bobbin turned it would take the yarn….Let’s start over.

I pre-drafted my fiber and let it split how it wanted.

Since BFL staple length is 3-4 inches that’s how far I kept my hands apart.

This time I was going to treadle slower so the yarn could wrap around the bobbin.  I pre drafted the fiber being sure to leave enough to actually draft onto the bobbin.  I could not draft the Wenslydale but I knew that I need to get to the point I could draft the fiber while spinning.  This time I controlled the uptake so it wouldn’t fly out of my hand…yes I’m getting it.  I used the inchworm method sometimes I lost it, sometimes I didn’t.  I switched hand and inch wormed…trying to find whats comfortable.  For the first time I was controlling what was happening.  When it broke I added in more fiber…I had so many little broken pieces I was going to town adding them in and getting practice.  I did this for about 30 mins and my yarn out put was better on Monday Memorial Day



I was so excited to get a rhythm with my hands and feet.  This is not pretty but you can definitely tell progress has been made.  So if this is your first wheel don’t give up I know I’m not.

When  I got in from work I finished the fiber and was on the wheel for about 35 minutes…this is what I ended up with.  I am pleased with my progress.


Wheel:  Honeybee SpinningWheel 

Fibers: WC Mercantile, Wintryflowerbydesign

Happy Spinning!







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