Dave asked me about Saxony-style wheels -- should the flyer be on the left side or the right side?
The upright castle wheels with the flyer in the middle cut the cake in the middle, as it were. And electric wheels remove the question entirely as there are no pedals to treadle.
All the Ashford Traditionals I've seen put the flyer on the left of the drive wheel. And, quite honestly, I never gave it much thought -- so when I got my Majacraft, I put the flyer on the left side, as shown here.
Then, after reading a Spin-of article about Watson Wheels, I decided a Martha Watson Wheel might just give my Majacraft a run for its money. I was in luck, as Mr. Watson Sr. lives a short distance north of me across the border, my girlfriend likes taking car rides over there (via ferry), and Mr. Waton had a Martha being picked up within a week -- so if I came right away, I could test drive one! Oh yeah! We went!
The Martha he had completed was lovely, in Walnut, with regular and jumbo flyers. It had the flyer on the left, just as I would have expected. So, I sat down to spin on it. My friend sat down to spin at the Marie, also a left-mounted-flyer, his Production Saxony wheel (wow! gorgeous!)
As we spun, Mr. Watson was quite a delight. He recognized quickly we knew what we were doing ... and then he said, "for you (meaning me), we should put the flyer on the other side".
What? Being the curious sort, I said, "Why?"
He responded, "see how you are twisting at the waist when you draft? with the flyer on the other side, you wouldn't. See how Kym isn't twisting, and she's drafting the other way? That's why the left-hand flyer works for her." (Or words to that effect -- I had neither camera nor voice recorder with me that day.)
Wow! A revelation! Perfect! Now, the funny thing is, I knew why I draft with my right hand in front, left behind -- two reasons: I started my spinning life with spindles, and the people and books I learned from did it that way; and very early in my spinning explorations, I pursued and learned traditional long draw -- with the fiber as traditionally held, in the left hand.
I just hadn't realized it impacted my wheel spinning that much. In fact, reflecting on the ride home, I realized I should have purchased the left-hand Drudik wheel (oh man are those lovely wheels) at conference those many years ago. Now they are $$$$ and Magnus Drudik is retired. Sigh.
But that's all right. I can purchase my Watson Martha with the flyer on the right (it'll be ready in June ... I bounce in my seat as I type that!)
And, when I got home, I switched my Majacraft to put the flyer on the right. You know, it is more comfortable. My hands are in front of me as I spin, and I'm not all twisted up in my seat. Thank you, Mr. Watson!
So Dave, and all you others considering a wheel -- how do you spin? If your left hand is in front drafting/right hand behind holding the fiber supply, then the traditional left hand flyer will work great for you. If your right hand is in front drafting/left hand is behind holding the fiber supply, then the less common right hand flyer is your more ergonomic wheel.
posted 8 May 2009 at http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/