Spinning Wheel Maintenance


Okay, I admit it. I’ve been a bad spinner by not properly babying my wheel. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? When I first got my wheel, I knew it had to be maintained on a regular basis. The manual talked about oiling and protecting the wood and dusting of all things. Totally doable. But I haven’t done any of those things. Before you drag out the pitch forks and the torches to take my wheel away, know I’m mending my ways. I have oil, wood wax, and dusting cloths. I’m going to spend the afternoon giving my Sidekick a proper cleaning before I spin the first yarn of 2014. After all the work this wheel has done over the past few months, it definitely deserves a little love.


Since this is my first time ever deep cleaning a wheel, a little research was in order. I found some helpful articles and have a better idea of what to do. Maybe they’ll help you and your wheel out too. 

The Spinner’s Glossary by Lee Juvan  - Handy overall article with lots of photos, tips, and instructions for cleaning and protecting your wheel. 

How to Care for Your Spinning Wheel - Basic video tutorial for how to clean and protect a spinning wheel; goes through the process for 4 different wheels.

How to Size and Replace Drive Bands

Schacht’s Spinning Wheel Care Tips

The Care & Feeding of Spinning Wheels by Karen Pauli popped up frequently in my research despite being published in 1981. Might get my hands on a copy. 

3 Skeins Spun


My Sidekick has been here for just over a week. I’ve spun on it everyday and I’m still amazed at how much faster the whole process is compared to working with a spindle. Seems like I’m just throwing fiber at the wheel and it magically turns into yarn. Okay, it’s not quite that fast and there’s no poof of smoke and glitter when unwinding the plied yarn from the bobbin. Should be though.


The first skein to come off the wheel was 2 oz of chain plied Perendale. When I won the fiber from Louet I immediately knew that I’d use it to learn to spin on my wheel. The first few yards are definitely lumpy and bumpy and chain plying the single elevated it to art yarn status. The yarn shrunk a bit during finishing so I’m not really sure how many yards there are. I have no plans to ever knit this yarn, so mystery yardage isn’t really problem. The skein gets to be a memory of my first time spinning my first wheel. It’ll be a nice and inspiring pet.


Fiber stashes are awesome. I heartily recommend you build one of your own because when I got bored of spinning the Perendale I was able to pull a lovely bump of teal out of my stash.  I split the fiber in half and just started spinning. Boredom immediately solved. With no real plan in mind I started spinning a 2-ply. The singles looked like they’d come together to make a fingering weight but turned into a worsted weight yarn instead. Fine with me since it’s about 300 yards of next to the skin softness. Just might turn into a cowl. Any pattern suggestions?


 This blue yarn and I have had quite the history by the time the Sidekick showed up at my door. Since the first few minutes of spinning, the roving has been turning my hands and spindle blue. When the wheel arrived, I finished up the second single so I could ply it on the wheel and finally be done with it. These photos are before the skein was washed and, ahem, partially as well as unintentionally felted. More on that debacle later. Spoiler alert: I like it more after the felting. 

With these three skein under my belt, I’m at work on the fourth. There’s one single waiting on the bobbin and I’m about to start on the second. Just might have it finished before Spinzilla starts on Monday morning. I only have three bobbins and I’ll need all of them for this grand spinning challenge.