Hands and flyers – an opinionated post

Do you sit up nice and straight in front of your spinning wheel? Or do you slouch and sprawl?

I like to spin couch potato style, leaning back and relaxed. It’s not terribly ergonomic, and might not be healthy for hours at a stretch (there’s rarely time for that). And it certainly wouldn’t suit everybody, but I enjoy it.

The point is that there are many, many styles of spinning. Like so many things in spinning, if it works for you it isn’t wrong.

In particular, there is no intrinsic reason why yarn should travel to the flyer only from directly in front of the orifice. Even if your wheel has some kind of hook or delta or loop (see pictures – click to enlarge) instead of an orifice, there’s usually some flexibility.

With an orifice, there are practically no limits. You can draft higher or lower than the flyer or to left or right of it. If you don’t believe me, watch this instructive and funny video –

That is why I disagree with the comment one sometimes hears, that a horizontal wheel for a right-handed person should have the flyer on the right. Not that it’s wrong to want to spin with the flyer on the right, of course, if you find it more comfortable. But it shouldn’t be stated as a universal rule.

For a start, some right-handed people spin with the right hand forward, some with the left. Left-handed people are similarly unpredictable as to their spinning handedness. The only thing that seems to have an effect is how they were taught (or taught themselves) when they first learned to spin.

Flyer height is usually irrelevant too, unless there’s a huge discrepancy between the height of the wheel and the height of the spinner. In fact it’s often thought to be better not to spin close to the orifice.

So we should each spin in whatever position is comfortable, and not be too much dictated to by our wheel’s flyer. Treadles can be a different matter. We’ll consider them next month, unless I get distracted by a shinier idea.

You can look up the New Zealand wheels whose flyers are pictured here in http://www.nzspinningwheels.info

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