Often a topic comes around and around and around again. One topic in particular that I’m thinking about today is what kind of chair should I use for spinning on my spinning wheel. I think that’s sort of a hard question to answer because it has to do with a combination of how long your legs are and what kind of wheel you have. Sometimes I factor in how relaxed I want to be but then the wheel type comes back into the equation.
For example, if you’ve taken a class from me, you may remember me talking to you or your neighbor about moving their wheel away from them a bit. I think it helps to sit as far away from your wheel as possible for several reasons.
- Hands that are further from the orifice can be a tad more relaxed during spinning because there is more space for a bit of twist to build up if there is a little trouble and you have to fix it and you forget to stop treadling.
- Sitting a bit further away from the orifice gives some space for twist to even out before it gets onto the bobbin. Evening out twist is the reason for rewinding bobbins and part of the reason for giving your yarn a good soak after you spin it so why not add that tad more room to get a tiny bit of added consistency.
- Sitting a bit further away with your lower leg slightly extended rather than at a 90 degree angle with your thigh helps to make the spinning more relaxing because then you are spinning with fewer muscles. You aren;t treadling with your thigh anymore, you are really just pressing with your ankles and lower leg. It really does work.
If you have been in my classes I may also have demonstrated my favorite spinning posture for home in front of the tv. It’s sort of reclined. I lay back. If I’m on my couch I put out one of the foot rests and then I can put one foot up and treadle with the other one. My hands then rest on my abdomen and I just short forward draw until I fall asleep. Kids at home help because they can change the hooks with me ever having to get up.
With all of that said, I have 2 wheels which need a bit better posture and one wheel that needs a higher chair.
The better posture wheel is my 30″ Schacht Reeves. I do frequently treadle this with one foot even though it is a double treadle wheel but if I am spinning to get a lot of yarn spun I do need to sit up straight. I can still sit on my couch or my comfy chair for this one but I put a couple of pillows behind my back to support myself.
The super sit up straight wheel is the Watson Martha. This wheel is heavy to treadle. It needs you to pay attention and do the work. The other thing about this wheel is that to get it to work well I need to have my feet in the middle of the treadles rather than slightly hanging off like I do on my other wheels.
Let me explain that a little further.
Generally, I like my heel hanging a tiny bit off the treadle and the arch of my foot over the pivot point of the treadle. This allows me to use a heel-toe motion to keep the wheel spinning evenly rather than having the drive wheel change speeds as it goes around.
The Martha doesn’t love that so I need to put my feet at the center of the treadles. To get my feet at that point and get enough force to push the treadles I need a higher chair than the couch or my cushy chair. I often use my darling’s chair which is a bit taller and I actually prefer a dining room chair over all else. The height is correct and it stays in place.
I never use an office chair for any spinning because the wheels make it too unstable for the speed I like to treadle.
In a nutshell, what I am trying to say is you may have to do some experimenting a bit to see which chair works best with your body and your spinning wheel.
You might want to mess around with it a little before you start the Sweater Spin Along that is starting in only 9 more days!!!!! We’re getting ready over on the Patreon Page. I hope you’ll join us so you have a new Handspun Sweater to wear to your favorite fall fiber festival.