No, not the scary guy you don’t stop to pick up on the side of the road. And not even the stray inch-worm that takes a ride on your shoulder in the summer. No, i am talking about Spinning wheels here. Specifically The Hitchhiker from the Merlin Tree.
I picked up a double treadle version of this wheel used from someone on Ravelry. It is tiny and adorable. The foot-shaped pedals start conversations. The 10 pound weight and the ability for it to fit in an overhead bin on a plane were selling points for me though i have not in fact taken it on a plane .
I have used it in my living room and taken it to Pennsic this past year. It travels nicely, packs compactly, and withstands the vagaries of being packed in a car for 12 hours with all the OTHER things i take for medieval camping for 2 weeks.
At minutely under $300 new (plus $80 more for the second pedal) it is one of the cheapest, if not THE cheapest spinning wheels i have ever seen. Dave, the man who makes them, says all the parts can be bought at Home Depot. Mine hasn’t broken in the few years I’ve had it, so i cant attest to that. I can attest to Dave being awesome. When it didnt feel quite right at first, i brought it to him at a fair. He looked at it, took it apart, oiled all the things, switched a few parts out for newer ones, since he had done things differently in models later then mine, and handed it back to me, in glorious working condition. For free, in under 10 minutes. Dave, as we say on the Merlin Tree Ravelry group, is a saint.
Now, i am no expert spinner. In fact, i am not that good at all. And this was my first real wheel (i am not counting the Babe, made of plastic and pvc pipe). so i can attest to it being pretty good for beginners.