Going Large – With a Jumbo Flyer

This is my spinning wheel.

99153616_2713637718895488_4027873102451965952_nShe is an Ashford Traditional, and she was built in the 1980’s.  I am probably her third owner, but maybe technically the second user as the lady I purchased her from never used her.  Her foot treadle is a bit worn but otherwise she is in very good condition.  The hubs and I took her apart and gave her a good clean and lube.  Many people say that she can be a bit difficult to use, but once you get the hang of spinning on her you shouldn’t have any issues.  Many people also upgrade to another, maybe smaller model with a double treadle.  This can save a bit of space and may be better for travelling, but I now have some good space in my lounge for her and I think she is pretty to look at.  The nice thing about the Ashford Traditional is that you can give her upgrades.  I have been spinning a lot of yarn lately that wasn’t really suitable for felting.  Although I have four bobbins, I filled them up rather quickly.  I am also interested in learning how to spin art yarn.  You know, the nice big chunky kind.  The chunky art yarn doesn’t always take up on a traditional bobbin and is why many either upgrade to a jumbo flyer or purchase another wheel specifically for spinning art yarn.  Buying a jumbo flyer with a few extra bobbins is less expensive than buying a new wheel, so I ordered one.  You can also add a double treadle.  I am quite happy with a single right now, but maybe in the future.

I ordered the jumbo flyer in May and just received it a couple of weeks ago.  If you have been following me, you know that I like a bargain.  Not all suppliers sell Ashford at the same price.  I ordered my jumbo flyer from George Weil as they have the lowest prices.  It wasn’t until after I placed my order and paid for it online that I was told that it was out of stock and that they were waiting for a delivery.  Ashford is made in New Zealand and when I looked at the other distributors, they were showing Ashford items out of stock and is another reason why I went with George Weil.  I was told I could cancel my order, but as it was only a couple of weeks I decided to wait.  While I was waiting, I ordered my loom and other weaving supplies.  The loom was in stock, so they sent that out right away, but everything else was on back order.  I can understand that when importing goods from afar, especially during covid times, things can take longer to arrive.  What I don’t get is the lack of communication and listing items on the website as available when they clearly aren’t.  Wingham Wool Work and Fibre Hut are two other distributors of Ashford products, but they at least state when something is out of stock and you have an option to be notified by email of when they come back in.  I was highly disappointed by the fact that I had to keep chasing George Weil up.  I eventually received most of my items apart from two reeds.  I got a refund and ordered another elsewhere.  Considering the wait of over two months as opposed to two weeks, and the amount of money I spent on ordering extra items, you would have thought they might have included a little something to say sorry you had to wait so long, but nada.  Something to think about in the future.

In any event, here is my jumbo flyer

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I was able to use the drive band I already had.  The jumbo flyer comes as a complete kit with a bobbin, brake band, drive band, and threading hook.  I ordered three extra bobbins, though only two will fit on the lazy kate at any one time.  There is an orifice reducer so you can still spin normal yarn, and there is also another adapter if you want to use the original flyer.  I found some more wool that needed spinning so I could test out my new flyer.

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This is a tub of joy that I got with an order from World of Wool some time ago.  They don’t tell you what is in a tub of joy, but I believe that this is a blend of alpaca, Shetland and silk from what I could find on their website at the time.  It feels very soft and smells a little bit sheepy, but not in a bad way.  I wasn’t crazy about spinning this as it was quite slippery and there was a bit of VM and guard hairs still in there.

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This is 50g worth that came in the tub.  As you can see, there is still a lot of room on the bobbin.  I haven’t spun anything for a couple of weeks as I was giving my hands a rest from my spinning marathon, but I wanted to try out the new flyer.  I am not a fast spinner so the spinning went well for me and I am happy with the new flyer.

I’ve had a new work work contract, so I wasn’t able to do any weaving during the week.  Last weekend I made two more of these:

Downloads-003 The hubs really liked it and so I made one for him and another family member.  He wanted it quite long so I warped out 100 inches.  The one above is warped at 80 inches.  I warped another one at 90 inches and I think that will be my go to warp for scarves from now on.

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I just finished a scarf in these colors for another family member.  I’ve got birthdays and Christmas to think about and so I am making for the family right now.  I quite like using the Hawthorn Spirit variegated yarn as you don’t have to think about anything but putting the shuttle back and forth as the yarn makes a lovely pattern.  The yarn is acrylic with 20% wool and although I prefer to weave with wool, not everyone gets on with it.  This can also be washed in the gentle cycle in the machine.  I also like it as a warp and had ordered one skein in almost every colorway.   One skein will make several warps or warp and weft for one scarf and it is a very easy project for a beginner.  I’ve got some more of these to make in other colors.  I will do another post once I’ve woven all of them and finished them off.

2 thoughts on “Going Large – With a Jumbo Flyer

    1. Thank you! I hope they like them. Although my boys live on the west coast USA, it isn’t always warm there. 🙂

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