What is a “Flyer Lead” on a spinning wheel, and what makes it better?
I am looking at buying a spinning wheel for making my own yarn, and I do not understand what a “flyer lead” is. I am debating between three different wheels from Babe’s Fiber Garden, they list as follows: *Babe’s Pedal Pusher Spinning Wheel
*Babe’s “Bulky Spinner”
*Babe’s Lace to Bulky Flyer Lead Double Treadle Production Spinning Wheel
What I don’t understand is WHAT is a flyer lead, and WHY is it better? This will be my first spinning wheel, and I don’t want some silly beginner one, I am very capable of learning any of them. What would a Pro Spinner buy out of those three choices? Does the flyer lead matter? Why or why not? Please feel free to explain in long answers.
Flyer lead generally means a single drive wheel, which Babes are. This is because to wind on the flyer has to stop and the bobbin continues to spin. It’s all in what you get used to spinning on. As I’ve said in other responses to you, I have both single and double drive wheels, and single and double treadle wheels. Each feels a little different from the others and each adjusts a bit differently for draw in (the amount of pull from the bobbin to the forming yarn) and braking. As I’ve also said, it is well worth finding a dealer and trying wheels out before buying. If you don’t have a dealer of whom you are aware nearby, go to http://www.interweave.com/spin/resources/spinning_guilds/ for a guild that meets in your area, spinners are usually more than happy to help addict, um, encourage, you and let you try out their wheels and give you tips, or to http://www.spinweave.org/membership/retail.html for dealers that may be closer to you than you think.
Babes are not necessarily silly beginner wheels, many spinners use them religiously, but others grow to want more traditional style wheels. Given your choices I would look at the lace to bulky wheel. Why? It gives you the greater range of spinning possiblities. I do see that you have asked about ratios in another question and I’ll go into this there.
*Better* isn’t really the question, one is not better than the other, but your personal preference may be for one or the other, which is why test driving one first if at all possible is something you should do. You are very welcome to e-mail me privately if you wish.
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