The current trend seems to be the double treadle right
now. There are both advantages and disadvantages. If it is your only wheel and you injure
your foot or knee, you are without the use of a wheel. (I learned this the hard way after
spraining my knee--fortunately, I had another wheel--and another good knee.:) ). If a
wheel is easy to treadle, it is easy to treadle whether it is a single or a double. Test a
wheel first before buying. What is comfortable for one spinner won't necessarily be
comfortable for another.
A true double treadle give a very smooth
revolution to the drive wheel, since there are two thrusts to every revolution of the
wheel. It is like a two cylinder gasoline engine. One foot is giving thrust to the wheel,
while the other is coasting. I am certain that if one has more than one wheel that one
will easily adjust to shifting from one to the other.
I tried a double treadle wheel for about 20
minutes at the last SOAR. At first I thought it was cool, but soon found my left leg
getting very tired, and finally it was just going up and down for the ride. Perhaps I
should retrofit my Traveller just to get my other leg in shape! But that's the only reason
I would do it. I found it quite exhausting, whereas I can spin for hours with my right leg
quite happily. Also, in spinning with two legs you must sit square to the treadle. Maybe
that's not how I want to be in front of the orifice all the time. I just didn't feel I had
as much flexibility. For example, the long draw was a pain because I felt awkward
I had the same exact problem with the double
treadle! I can sit and spin comfortable enough as long as I was pretty much at the center,
but when plying, I had not realized that I sit at an angle, which the double-treadle could
not accommodate. I like to change my position and even my leg when treadling for long
periods of time. Long draw was a problem for me too.
I've just returned from the Woolcrafts Festival
in Taranaki, here in New Zealand. I also stopped by the Ashford stand to buy one of the
new tensioned Lazy Kates, and was tempted into sitting down to try a Traditional wheel
fitted with double treadles and the new super-fast lace flyer. Honestly, I've never felt
so much in control of a wheel in my life! People have been commenting that double treadles
don't give them the flexibility they need for a long draw or for plying. I think it
depends on your style of spinning. The slightly twisted way one tends to sit with a single
treadle is murder for some people's backs and hips, though I've never found it a problem.
I guess the best advice, as always, is to try thoroughly before you buy, and choose what
I am of the same opinion as Ruth. I do not sit
squarely up to the wheel, I sit at an angle so that I can draft with my left hand as far
away from the orifice as possible. A double-treadle is very restricting in that respect.
It would be great if all you do is short draw and worsted spinning, but for long draw I
don't think so. I spend hours trying to teach my students to have an open mind about where
they sit, how they draft, so that a wide variety of spinning techniques are available to
them and they can switch between short, medium, long draw, spinning from the fold at will.
To restrict oneself to sitting right in front of the wheel does not allow the full range
of movement you get when you sit at a slight angle. This is not to say that the double
treadle is not good, just different and useful for some people and some types of spinning
- but not all types of spinning. However, I will carry the double treadle in my shop and
have it available to anyone who wants it. The beauty of life is the ever changing variety
and the double treadle is a personal choice of what one is comfortable with. And, it's not
I thought I would just add a few thoughts I had
on the double treadle discussion. Some of the orifice types make it difficult to spin at
an angle to the orifice. I mean the pig's tail one ( a curly wire instead of an orifice),
and the delta orifice (the one with a inverted V wire loop instead of an orifice). They do
make threading quick and easy but if you spin at all off centre with these two types, you
get a sort of speed wobble. It is rather like spinning on a great wheel when you get off
the point of the spindle.
I know you can spin the long draw by coming
directly out from the orifice, and then making the wool bend at a sharp right angle to the
right or left, but I haven't mastered this technique yet. I use the 'Playing the violin '
method for woolen spinning.
If I am doing hours of spinning I like to vary
my treadling foot, from right to left, and I wriggle around lots to avoid staying in one
position. I have found most of the double treadle wheels I have used very easy to treadle,
but I have not yet used them for days at a time. I guess it is just what you are used to.
In response to Sandy who would like to have a
wheel single or double treadle on demand . . . All of the double treadles that I have seen
can be operated very easily with just one foot. With a double treadle machine you can use
either foot or both. When its necessary to sit off to the side for plying or long draw
just use one foot on the closest treadle.
I have a double treadle installed on my
Traveller! Please thank the Ashfords for their thoughtfulness in composing the Double
Treadle Kit; not only did they add a new hub pin and a nail to drive it in/out with, they
also included a new drive band/cord. Also - please, please, thank them for the template. I
*did* need it. I *love* the double treadle! I'd recommend it to anyone. Now my flyer is
Just had my Traditional converted to a double
treadle! Wow! what a difference. I really like the smooth treadling and being able to
start the wheel without using my hand. Couple that with my new high speed whorl and I can
really fly (no pun intended)!
We've just returned from our trip Stateside, and
my *big* purchase was the double treadle conversion for my Traveller. I really had a lot
of trepidation about this purchase. How did I know if I would like a double treadle? Would
my hip get even sorer? If this happened would the store take it back? Etc. ad nauseum.
Well, I just love it. My DH managed to put it together for me (bless him) and I was
treadling away within very short order.
My double treadle developed a regular howl
during class with Margaret Stove at the Bemidji rendezvous last September. Everyone in the
class tried to silence it. Luckily, I had a class with Patsy Z that evening. She up-ended
my wheel and worked in a milky white oil (silicon, I think - the stuff you can get at
bicycle shops) all over the hinges. She made sure to get the oil in every hinge opening.
First, you need to figure out which part of the
double treadle is squeaking. If it's the pins that are inserted into the legs, you can use
oil or buy some powdered teflon, which should be available at any good hobby store -- I
found my little bottle at a shop specializing in model trains! -- and make sure you squirt
it down well around the pins. If it's the hinge on the one treadle (which was what it was
on mine), turn your wheel over and run a little oil on both hinge pins. Mine used to
squeal like a banshee when I was treadling slowly, but doesn't anymore!
I have just upgraded mine and I find that it is
definitely an improvement on a wheel that I thought could not be improved upon. I
particularly like the fact that I can start and stop the wheel with my feet and I can spin
longer without getting tired.
Three cheers for Ashford and their upgraded
double treadle for the Traveller. I just installed mine two weeks ago...and to say that
I'm amazed is putting it mildly. When I first started looking at spinning wheels 2 years
ago, I thought that a double treadle would be too much like work - riding a bicycle...boy
was I wrong. I would trade a lot of things before I would trade my Traveller.
I recently put the double treadle upgrade on my
Ashford Traditional. I am very happy with the wonderful ease of spinning. I think it would
make anything that required lots of work, like plying or the jumbo flyer, much easier. The
double treadle really reduces fatigue and that sort of twisted feeling from stomping with
your right foot for too long.
I highly recommend the double treadle. It is
easy to put on, and makes your spinning much more natural and even, *especially* for the
high-speed setup. You can email me directly if you have any specific questions.
I got some good advice here about the double
treadle for my Traveller. I am in heaven - I love the double treadle! I can't believe the
difference it has made in my control of the wheel, and in the consistency of my yarn.
I have owned and loved an Ashford Traditional
for about 30 years. I just recently added the Double Treadle from a kit and now I am more
in love with it than ever!