How to choose an Ashford Spinning Wheel
There’s no shortage of styles and types of spinning wheels for sale, and spinners seek out that perfect wheel that’s just right for them. Ashford is a great choice for spinners who are
The Ashford Traditional is one of the most popular wheels in the world and has been on the market basically forever. Like most of their wheels the Traditional can be customized with a plying or bulky flyer or a lace flyer for thinner yarns. You will find Ashford everywhere you look from your local guild to antique sales and craft shows. That is another strength to this company, the availability of parts. Down the road if you ever need any parts or upgrades they are readily available. At Paradise we stock nearly every part for them and can get whatever you need no problem if for some reason we don’t have it in stock.
Any of the Double Drive wheels we offer can be used in Scotch Tension as well as Double Drive modes. Double drive in short offers the spinner positive drive on the flyer and bobbin. Single drive has the flyer connected to the bobbin with a band of mono-filament line that slows the bobbin creating twist.
The Ashford Kiwi 2 is very economical and spins well for the price. The Solid MDF board drive wheel is great for momentum and keeps the cost down on this wheel. It is a single drive or scotch tension style drive and does not allow for double drive which is one of the few shortcomings of the design. It is great for clubs, guilds and other organizations where there is learning going on and the wheel may be loaned out and it will take abuse. There are many options for this wheel like all Ashford wheels including a jumbo flyer or lace flyer. The lazy kate isn’t bad but we always recommend upgrading to a stand alone lazy kate if you’re doing regular plying, the one that is on most wheels is basically just a poor bobbin holder and is not optimal. Although this wheel seems portable and it can be, keep in mind the drive wheel is pretty heavy. The Kiwi spinning wheel is only available in a double treadle and a perfect choice for beginners on a budget.
The Elizabeth the classic fairy tale wheel with double drive and single drive options. The extra large wheel allows for higher ratios and smooth spinning with lots of momentum from the sheer mass of the 24 inch drive wheel. The Elizabeth is one of the most reasonably priced Saxony style wheels on the market and a great value. The ratios are from 8.5:1, 11:1, 15:1 and are great for DK and Lace weight yarn spinning but this wheel will do a great job at everything except Bulky and above. It is typically sold as a single treadle but a kit can be purchased to upgrade it to double treadle at a later date. This is the ultimate Ashford wheel for re-enactments with that classic wheel look.
The Ashford Country Spinner uses a method called Bobbin lead. Bobbin lead actually has the drive band going right from the drive wheel to the bobbin and that’s it. It’s like scotch tension except instead of driving the flyer you are driving the bobbin. It works great in the this application since the Country Spinner is meant for huge thick yarn and also wild artyarn spinning. The sturdy frame and large bobbin capacity are perfect for spinning rug yarn in bulk and plying bulky and chunky yarns together for finishing.
These wheels are made in New Zealand from New Zealand hardwood cherry and other woods. One of the most valuable traits of this line is the fact that everything is backwards compatible. They don’t leave you hanging if you want to upgrade to a double treadle from a single treadle and offer adapters and other parts for older wheels to replace or upgrade them to newer standards like sliding hook flyers.
Savvy spinners can look for particular features that will best serve their needs and individual skills, but in terms of desired positive qualities balance and smooth wheel rotation are universally desired traits. The wheel should smoothly rotate with little vibration for both peak performance and comfort of the spinner. Sturdiness of frame serves as a very good quality in spinning wheels for sale, with the added weight giving the machine a solid feel and usually providing the smoothness and balance desired. Also, make sure to determine how important it is to you that a spinning wheel is portable in terms of finding the right one to suit your individual needs. Portability can be very useful, but if not required you can focus even more on qualities such as sturdiness and style.
Known for its high quality manufacturing and standards they are carefully crafted and designed to appeal to both novice and experienced spinners. Built with treadles that are comfortable and simple to operate, Ashford Spinning Wheels provide ample room for the operator to comfortably position their feet. The sturdiness of design will instill a sense of confidence in the spinner, as these machines are constructed to perform year after year at peak efficiency under heavy use.
The Ashford spinning wheel comes in both single and double drives, with both models providing the quality, durability and ease of use that customers have come to expect from Ashford machines. Both models are easy to set up, and there is nothing like the beautiful wooden construction of the wheel to enhance the look of any sewing room, making it a place that you will love to work on your spinning projects time and time again!