How do I use my new espinner?

HansenCrafts miniSpinner with 5.5 oz handspunBy Amelia © December 27, 2011

Did the holidays bring you an espinner? Lucky you! Here are some tips to help you transfer your wheel skills to your newest toy/tool.

With espinners, start out slow and find what pace works best for you. It's a different mindset from a treadle wheel, in that the motor speed is constant once it is set. With a treadle wheel, you can change speed with each push of a treadle. So your hands need to learn to move in a regular rhythm that matches the espinner's speed.

I tend to set the speed on my HansenCrafts espinner based on how fine I am spinning. I set it slower for thicker yarns and faster for finer yarns. Which wool breed it is isn't usually my focus, beyond realizing how thick or thin that breed likes to be spun. And when I am starting with a new to me wool, I start out slow and increase a little bit at a time until I find a speed that works for my hands, the fiber, and the yarn I want to produce.

When I am spinning fibers other than wool, I look at how slippery they are, and adjust accordingly. If it is more slippery, I use a slower speed to start until my hands have control of the fiber.

And with all fibers, I bring forward a philosophy I use on my treadle wheel as well... Only set e scotch tension brake just tight enough to draw fiber onto the bobbin. Tis is even more important with an espinner, because it's not your feet getting tired pushing against that break -- it's the motor working against it. Light tension ensures you get the most effort out of your motor.

Are you curious about but don't have one yet? HansenCrafts has a great page listing their competition here:

Ravelry has both an electric spinners group and a HansenCrafts group, full of information about espinners.


The one shown here is an early HansenCrafts espinner. I've since upgraded it to have a WooLee Winder and am looking forward to the new manual flyer HansenCrafts are developing.

© December 27, 2011 by Ask The Bellwether, posted at

1 comment:

My One and Only said...

I bought Hansen two years ago. Love, love, love it! It does any job fast!