ok, I admit it…I’m hopeless in the face of wooly temptation (although I suspect you’d most likely already guessed that hadn’t you?). Hopeless. With a capital ‘H’.
I bought a stupidly expensive spinning wheel.
Let me explain my thought process…
I decided I definitely needed a second wheel, a bit like families decide they need a second car. You know, one for the quick trips where comfort and class aren’t necessarily priorities. A small car that can cope with muddy dogs, spilt drinks and the odd ‘bump’. Then maybe you think about adding a larger, more powerful car. The kind you can fit the whole family in without Grandma having to awkwardly perch on top of someone’s knees, with good acceleration and a smooth ride.
Well wheels are like cars (well except for the granny bit most of the time).
I have my Ashford Joy; a fairly cheap rough and ready wheel that folds up and can be carted to and from spinning group, hotels and ideal for spinning in public. It copes with the odd knock here and there but I’ve never really bonded with it. I dislike the sliding hook flyer, when I ply I have a habit of snapping the Scotch tension band unless I’m really careful and, well, it’s an Ashford.
I need a bigger wheel with a slicker design, smoother running and, well, not an Ashford.
So I started to think about maybe a Louet S10. HUGE bobbins (the spinners version of page 3?), great well thought through design and most importantly, it would match my loom (shallow, moi?). I contacted a website to order one and after some delay, which I hate, I was told that Louet have revamped it into a ‘concept wheel’ where you get to pick and choose exactly what you want, like how many treadles (well, two max disappointingly), what kind of tension thingy etc. Well, I wanted one exactly like the original S10, no different, just that. Not a problem they said, except I spotted a problem, over £100 more than the original kind of problem. Now I know people have to increase their prices, inflation and all that grown up complicated stuff but that seemed a little steep. No thanks, I said.
After lots of research (read hours I’ll never get back trawling random posts on Ravelry), I really really wanted a Schact Matchless, described as the Rolls Royce of wheels, complete with a Rolls Royce price tag.
Excitingly, I found a second hand one that coincided with a trip Down South so we could collect it while we were there. Obviously meant to be (see what I did there? Justifications abound). Except it came with only two bobbins and new ones are roughly about £50 a go. Faint.
Then I came across The Threshing Barn selling a brand new one for less than the second hand one by the time you added in the cost of an extra bobbin, or two… Well, that just made perfect sense!
She’s made from maple with accents of black walnut and works with three different tension systems (a bit like her new owner), I have her working in double drive at the moment (who knew that was so good?). She’s heavy, solid, treadles like a dream, is almost noiseless, in fact, everything is just wonderful. Honeymoon period coming to mind anyone?
See, Mollie even has a date of birth; the first six digits of the serial number is the day she was born.
My spinning has improved no end. Look at the first ever skein spun on her, 66g laceweight alpaca:
I cannot bring myself to spin on the Joy now, even for spinning group (especially as the bobbins don’t fit Mollie, what’s the point?) so it has been relegated to eBay where I’m sure someone who will appreciate it will find a lovely corner for it.
Now, maybe I could just do with a Schact Ladybug…