One Crazy Fiber Lady

The ramblings of a fiber-affected single mother of twins who makes a living as a code monkey

One Crazy Fiber Lady

Yeeee Haaaw – Wild Wheel Roundup

May 9th, 2008 · 11 Comments

Time for a spinning wheel roundup. I get a lot of questions about various wheels, rightly so I suspect, as I’ve owned quite a number of them. This post was born from a recent discussion with Manise. So here goes, all the wheels I’ve have/had. I’m trying to keep the herd stable so  a lot of wheels go simply because a new one came in and one had to git.

1. Lendrum Upright – first wheel. Still have it. It is a great all purpose wheel. It was able to do everything I ever asked it to do. I have loads of bobbins and even a woolee winder (big surprise – this too is pretty common in my herd) for it. I don’t use it very often, especially since the ankle injury as it is a double treadle that puts a bit too much strain on the bum right foot. It now lives in Kat’s room and she has declared it hers.

Updated – this is now SOLD too. I had to sell something when the Van Eaton was purchased. I wasn’t able to use this wheel thanks to the bad ankle, but still felt sad at its sale.

2. Lendrum Saxony – second wheel. Opted for both the Scotch and Double drive, used it primarily in DD. Sold it last year after MDSW and the Vermont wheel entered. It is a beautiful wheel that I produced some very very fine cobweb on it. Spun effortlessly. One complaint, and I mentioned it in previous posts, is the construction of the treadle support that caused it to flex when treadling and generated an annoying squeak.

3. Majacraft Rose – third wheel. Also a nice all purpose wheel, though a touch prettier than Suzie. The wheel is a bit heavier than I would like in a portable and the wood on the treadles was a tad too soft and would ding if something fell on them. Folding it up as designed would result in dings on the treadle. I took to wrapping the flyer in a towel before swiveling. I sold this one to Chris to support the purchase of my Womack Butterfly spinner as I was newly pregnant with twins and fully expected some kind of bed rest. Little did I expect that the bed rest would be in the hospital.

4. Womack Butterfly Spinner. Saw it the first time at MDSW. Perfect for the above mentioned expected bed rest. I liked it better than Chris’ Roberta electric that I tried during our trip to MDSW. The Womack is Scotch (flyer lead)tension while the Roberta is Irish (bobbin lead). Up until that point, all my previous spinning experiences had been with Scotch or Double. The Irish wasn’t comfy for me. The Womack is cool. I picked up a Woolee Winder for it. With the addition of a foot switch, this would be perfect. The wood base is absolutely gorgeous. Price on it has jumped considerably since I bought it too. Mr. Womack joked with me this weekend that he’d give me a full refund on mine 😉 Nice man, remembers me from year to year at the festival.

–its here that I lose what order they came and went.

5. Ashford Traditional – Had for a short time. Never really liked. Can’t exactly remember why. Does have lots of doo-dads that you can buy for it. I think her small footprint and the single treadle gave some fits as she was my first single. Ironic considering I started swapping the DT’s for ST’s not too long ago.

6. Kromski Mazurka – sold. Another ST/DD option wheel. Little thing. Never really bonded with her. Fell prey to the same problem that the Traddy did, single treadle. This wheel only allowed me to sit in one particular way to treadle and if I was out of place, the wheel would tip. Footprint I felt was a little too small and made it a bit unstable.

7. Jensen Tina II – still own. Lovely little wheel. Excellent spinner. Another ST/DD optional wheel. Another WW and bobbins. Has all sorts of extra whorls for a wide variety of speeds. Sweet thing that I should really use more often and completely forget about it. It currently lives in the entry foyer. If memory serves, the last time I used her was Mother’s Day last year when I remembered how very sweet she is. Tough to get one of these babies used. This is one of a few wheels that I didn’t buy new.

Update: 7/2011 – I still own this wheel.  It unfortunately does not get the usage that some of the others do, but as she sits in the entry foyer, everyone sees her.  When I do pull her out to use her, I’m reminded of how very nice a wheel she is.  I’ve since sold the WW and bobbins and primarily use it with the higher speed whorls and fast bobbins.

8. Journey Wheel- sold to Deb. Another ST/DD optional wheel. Sadly, no available WW 😉 Single Treadle. First one that didn’t make me nuts. A gorgeous design and beautiful handiwork. The wood case though does operate as a bit of a soundboard reflecting the song of that wheel back at the spinner. Interesting. Definitely need to buy a fabric cover/bag for it as the wood can be damaged easily.

Updated:  I’ve since replaced this with another Journey Wheel.  It wasn’t long after selling mine to Deb that I wanted it back.  Took a while, but I managed to put my hands on another one.  It is of older vintage then my original but that just means that the Cherry wood is just that much more beautiful.

9. Hitchhiker – sold to Dorre – Bought one from the initial batch if I remember correctly back at the first MASW where they were sold. Even had a lefty one. Cute. Plus is that they use ashford bobbins. When the multiple ratio option was added, made the wheel a bit more versatile. Excellent for portability, couldn’t spin on it for long periods.

10. Majacraft Suzie Pro – sold. Nice wheel. Have WW for it. No difference really between this and the Rose. Originally bought it because of the plastic bobbins and the grease spinning I was doing at the time. It lives in the den right now and hasn’t been used in a while. Both Mom and Alex consider it their wheel. Sold this wheel as I don’t use it. While it is an excellent all around wheel, I have a couple all around wheels and really needed a wheel that was small and folded pretty darn flat (so that I can take it on the boat and tuck it in the forward cabin closet and dad wouldn’t object). I’ve replaced it with an Ashford Joy.

11. Fricke E-Spinner – still own. Woolee Winder. Foot switch. Box. A very decent espinner. Uses Majacraft bobbins, though a modified version of the flyer as it doesn’t turn on, but has a thumb screw. I use it primarily for plying. Between the foot pedal and the WW, it is ideal for that. Not quite as pretty as the Womack (which is currently in storage), but with the case, it isn’t bad 🙂 –

Updated – this is now SOLD – I honestly didn’t need both the Fricke and the Womack. The Womack was prettier and finally came out of storage so it won. I did keep the pedal though 🙂

12. Vermont Wheel – LOVE. I heart this wheel. It is FAST. SMOOTH. SUPERB. It is a single treadle that I can use either foot with. Can spend many hours on this baby. Not a single complaint for this one. One of my two desert island wheels. She’s a production wheel so she gets the big spinning jobs, ie 3 lbs of black corrie, as well as perfection for fine spinning. I have a number of lace projects earmarked for her.

13. Schacht Matchless – LOVE. Single treadle. ST/DD. This is my utility player of a wheel. A little too heavy to make a fabo portable wheel (ie the purchase of the trundle kit). Many whorl options. WW and bobbins. This is my other desert island wheel.

Update 2012 – I sold the Single Treadle to Tami and bought a Double version.  With the injury to the other foot, I now prefer double treadle wheels over a large single treadle.

14. Majacraft Little Gem II- sold – Super portable. Did not agree with the bum ankle. I did like this one. A smaller footprint than the Suzie or Rose and different to work with. While Suzie doesn’t bother the ankle, Gem does.

15. Louet Victoria – sold – Never bonded with her. Another very portable wheel. Got an early one. Had trouble with the scotch tension knob actually staying put. The plastic cup that connects the treadles to the wheel made me nervous that it would snap. Having said that, I got her during the height of the construction period at the house and she stayed in the box for most of the time. I think I used her once.

16. Danish Flax Wheel – own/walkabout – Small Danish repro wheel that I bought on ebay during a flax phase 😉 Very tiny. Has been touring about on extended test drives, not entirely sure where she is at the moment. Will have a home at some point. Also a single treadle that gave me some fits and being a flax wheel, the ratio is very low. This lace spinner didn’t enjoy that very much 😉

17. Schacht Ladybug – LOVES. Though we’ll see how much loves there is when I take her out as the portable wheel 😉 I suspect she’ll do fine as long as I don’t have to schlep her very very far, like say from the Main Barn to the car at Maryland. As I haven’t flown since 1997, I don’t think her lack of foldability is going to cause a problem. –

Updated – this wheel is now SOLD. While I did love her and have absolutely no complaint about how she spun, she didn’t meet the true portability need. I need something that can tuck in the closet in the front cabin on the boat. Not folding is a problem there. Now I hear Schacht is working on a folding wheel…

Update: 2012 – Bought another Ladybug from Dorre for Alexander to use.

18. Ashford Joy – bought, haven’t gotten yet, will hopefully have soon. As noted above in the Majacraft Suzie Pro entry, I needed something small to take on the boat or where I need to carry a wheel a distance. Ladybug is an awesome little wheel, but I can’t carry her very far, though farther than I can carry the Matchless. Look for an update here when I’ve had a chance to play and tote. –

Updated – This wheel is now sold. I like it. It was okay. I’m just not a huge Ashford fan.

19. Reeves 24″ Saxony – I bought this oak beauty from Chris (who bought my Rose). I heart this wheel too. She’s gorgeous, fast and just an excellent spinner. I added a few newly made bobbins and use her for lace spinning. I know I didn’t need another saxony, what with the Vermont Wheel hanging about, but I couldn’t pass up a chance at an original Reeves at a friend price 🙂 –

Updated 4/2013 – Sold.  She wasn’t getting used and it was time to find someone who would appreciate her.

20. Van Eaton 24″ Production Wheel – in Black Walnut and 7 bobbins in various exotic woods. I LOVE this wheel. Heavy. Solid. Superb spinner. Both double and scotch tension like a bunch of other wheels that i have. I find it spins better in ST mode and that works for me. Updated:  7/2011 – this is the only wheel I can spin relatively heavy weight singles on.  I use this one when I’m spinning for a worsted weight end product.  Not seeing a great deal of usage at present, but won’t part with her.

Updated: 12/2012 – This wheel has been sold.  I hadn’t been using it very much and another wheel was on her way so she was sold and picked up at Rhinebeck in October.

21. Louet Victoria – No, you’re not seeing double. I did buy a new one. This time a beech one and with the problem of the tension knob that I noted on the earlier model addressed. With the screw holding the knob in from the other side, that popping problem is gone. I did find after a weekend of play with it, that the ring on the flyer arm slides a little to freely resulting in singles that pile up on the closer end of the bobbin. I solved this little problem by picking up a woolee winder at MDSW’09. We’ll see how she does on the boat this summer. I bought this to replace the Joy.

Updated:  7/11 – This was sold last year after I got another Gem (which itself was sold in May 11 to prepare for the arrival of the Sidekick) to use as the portable wheel.  It worked on the boat, being small and lightweight.  I just didn’t really like spinning on her for any length of time and would take another wheel if the spinning time was more than an hour or so.

22. Reeves 19″ Frame Wheel – LOVE – bought this from Carolina Homespun at MDSW’09 after sitting down to try it. Other than the creaking of the leather in the treadle, she’s almost perfectly silent. Wonderful spinning experience. Sadly, only came with one bobbin, but the flyer from the Saxony is the same size so they can be interchangeable. I have 5 bobbins now for that wheel so I can wait a bit to order a couple more.

Updated:  This too was sold.  I just never bonded with it.  It squeaked.  Was heavy.  And I just didn’t really need two Reeves wheels.

23.  CPW – marked Borduas 30″ Canadian Production Wheel – Purchased from Merlin Tree at MDSW in 2010.  Lovely fast wheel.  Sadly only one bobbin, means that the electric bobbin winder and cardboard storage bobbins gets a lot of usage.  I haven’t used it much in the last year.  The dry air in the house means that the joints are a tad wobbly.  Could use a bit of humidity in my house, but that’s another story.  I’m tempted to move her along, but can’t pull that trigger quite yet.  (actually went through 2 other CPW’s before getting to this one.  first was a franken-wheel from the midwest that I just up and gave to Dave Paul to get it off my hands, the other was a 24″ that was sold to Sharon) –

2/21/12 – This one is now moving along.  I’m fostering it for a couple of weeks until her new owner has room for her.  I just wasn’t using her and the herd was getting outsized again. 

24.  Schacht Sidekick – Added 7/11 – Hopefully this will be the portable wheel that I’ve been questing for.  She folds down pretty small (a tad heavier than the Victoria / Gem) but a very solid feel when spinning.  From my memories of the Ladybug, I find that the spinning is the same. –

2/21/12 – Sold – The spinning is nice but not at the higher speeds that I do.  I found the wheel wobbled a bit at my high treadle rate and got to be tiresome on my feet.  Could have been the carpet at Tami’s house but maybe not.  I also found the setup and breakdown to be a little longer than my ideal.

25.  Spinolution Queen Bee – Added 2/12 – So far so very good.  Picked this one up used on Ravelry.  Came with bag and 7 bobbins at a price I couldn’t pass up particularly for a wheel in excellent condition.  Setup and breakdown are incredibly fast as there’s only two steps one of which takes all of five seconds.  Huge range of ratios built in.  Still in midst of first 4oz of fiber on it, but so far, so very good.  Don’t want to jinx anything, but this might just be the grail in my quest for the perfect portable wheel.

8/2013 – Sold.  Just wasn’t getting any use.  Can’t remember why I turned away from it.  Maybe it was the odd treadling action.  While it didn’t bother my cranky right ankle, the left foot injury isn’t in the ankle, but mid-foot.  This foot was bothered by the treadling.

26.  Hansen MiniSpinner – Added 8/2012 – Have the regular flyer with 3 bobbins and the woolee winder flyer/bobbins.  Added a portable battery for use with this.  Maple.  Nice little spinner.  Spent the weekend at Wiawaka with it in August, and a weekend on the boat.  Has some ssues with the way I ply.  I tend to set it up and let the “wheel” do the work with the woolee winder.  This caused the motor to overheat and shut off.  Not sure how I feel about that 😉  The bobbins are HUGE!  Now to just figure out how to fill that bobbin without the motor overheating.

10/22/13 – Sold the Hansen to Jessalu at Rhinebeck this past weekend.  I couldn’t figure out the motor overheating problem and I wasn’t about to change how I ply with an electric to do so, particularly when i can use my Womack without issue.  It was just making me angry each time I used it so I moved it along.

27.  Golding Single Flyer Wheel – Added 10/2012 – LOVE.  Brilliantly designed wheel.  Sealed bearing on the bobbins.  No lubrication needed anywhere.  Quiet.  Solid.  Spins like buttah.

28.  Golding Folding Travel Wheel – Added 12/2012 – Love the full sized wheel so much that I had to have the portable. 🙂  Haven’t used it yet as it arrived today.  Has the same sealed bearing bobbins and quick on/off flyer.  Very smartly designed and with the carving, just gorgeous in cherry with walnut pulleys.  Folding function reminds me of the Lendrum Upright.

7/2013 – Sold – Was just not using this one and found the folding (while the same as the Lendrum) fidgety.  Was a bit bulky/heavy to use as a portable.

29.  Antique Gossip Wheel – Added 5/2013 – Picked this up at the used equipment auction in MDSW.  It is interesting.  Haven’t done much with it beyond the first day or two of oiling it up, putting on a drive band and spinning about 30 yards of very fine single.  Its a fast wheel.

Sold – can’t remember when

30.  Pocket Wheel – Added 7/2013 – sold 7/2013 – I waited over a year for a cherry pocket wheel, wanting to love it.  Sadly I didn’t.  The things I didn’t like about the Roadbug and the Hitchhiker are present in this gorgeous little direct drive wheel too, though a bit smoother operating, but also way more expensive.  I just didn’t enjoy spinning on it and thanks to a long wait list, was able to move it along very quickly.

31.  Norm Hall Traditional Whirlwind – Added 7/2013 – This is a beauty and one of the wheels on my bucket list.  5 HUGE bobbins, tilt tension, single treadle with 27″ drive wheel.  Signed 2-87 #36.

5/2014 – Traded for a Wyatt Pegasus

32.  Ashford Joy – Added 8/2013 – Yes, this is the third Joy I’ve bought.  Of all the travel wheels I’ve tried, this one was probably the best of breed.  I got the larger bobbins and freedom flyer with the sliding hook.  Except I think I just lost this one to Kathryn.  We came home from Rhinebeck and she excitedly starting spinning on her spindle, only to struggle with it.  I suggested that now that she had the spinning concept down, she should try a wheel.  She did and really did!  Doubt that its coming back to me anytime soon.  I do have to say that I’m not thrilled with the freedom flyer.  The sliding eye is too large and if you move it to the end of the arm to fill the back end of the bobbin, it catches on the brake band, which I also don’t like.  Dopey fishing line with two springs.. and a knob that wants to pop out.   I’ll have to fix that for Kat.

33.  Robin – Added 10/2013 – Wandering around the festival on Saturday with Kat, I spotted the Robins and asked if I could give one a try.  Never been a fan of bobbin lead, but kept an open mind.  I loved it.  Came home with a Black Walnut wheel with 3 standard bobbins.  So far, so good, but its only two days in.

Sold

34.  Wee Robin – Added 2013 – Nice little wheel.  Folded super small and went on a couple of cruises in a small hard sided suitcase.  Not a immense fan of Irish tension.

Sold 12/2015

35.  Majacraft Little Gem – Added 2013(?) – Actually the very same wheel I sold a few years back in 2011.  It was tricked out with the fast/lace bobbins/etc.  I used to keep this in the car until I traded the Camry in on something nicer 🙂

36.  Lendrum Upright – Added 5/2015 – Missed having a Lendrum and picked one up at MDSW.  Now that both ankles are crappy, they don’t notice the wheel treadling quite so much.  This time got the complete package with the Jumbo flyer.  Kat has claimed this wheel as hers.

37.  Golding Gossamer – Adding 10/2015 – A very nice little Golding wheel.  Spins smooth and is lighter than the previous style portable wheel.  Signed and number #1 🙂

xx.  Deposit put down on a Norm Hall Mariah in cherry at NYSW 2014.  Could have taken one home in 2015 but am scheduled to get it in 2016 provided I can scrape together the funds what with both twins needing braces and paying for a bar/bat mitzvah.

I think that’s it, and no I’m not including the charkhas (had an Indian – sold, have a Bosworth book sized). I’m sure someone who has been paying attention for a while around here can remind me of something I’ve missed 😉

Spin On!

[Edited 2008.5.21 to indicate the Gem has now been sold]

[Edited 2008.10.09 to indicate the Suzie Pro has now been sold and an Ashford Joy purchsed.]

[Edited 2009.05.04 to indicate purchase of the Reeves Saxony, Van Eaton, Reeves Frame, Louet Victoria. Also indicated sale of Ashford Joy, Lendrum upright, Schacht Ladybug.]

[Edited 2011.07.18 to update reviews / sales / purchases]

[Edited 2012.02.21 to update reviews / sales /purchases]

[Edited 2012.12.20 to update reviews / sales / purchases]

[Edited 2013.6.5 to update sales]

[Edited 2013.10.22 to update reviews / sales / purchases]

[Edited 2015.12.26 to update reviews / sales / purchases]

Tags: Spinning

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Manise // May 9, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Super post! Thank you!

  • 2 --Deb // May 9, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    That’s quite an overview. What manufacturers DON’T you have covered?? (grin)

  • 3 Nancy // May 9, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    So glad you got to go to the fair!

    Next time I post I’m linking to your reviews/list. I’ve held tight on not spinning, but I know others who’d find this list VERY informative!

    Have a great weekend1

  • 4 Glenna // May 9, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Holy lotta spinning wheels, batman!
    But this is an amazing list of information, especially for those of us who don’t know the difference between one wheel and another.

  • 5 Kim // May 11, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Giddyup! You got yourself quite the herd of wheels, sheriff!

  • 6 Chris // May 12, 2008 at 7:59 am

    You’ve been a bad influence on me, ya know? Like you, I keep buying wheels. Unlike you, most of them have not left as new ones come in. I’m up to 9 wheels now. And Rose is still my favorite!

  • 7 Rowena Tank // May 13, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Well, I hope that you considered the Roberta. Best spinning wheel out there. I have a Jensen Saxony, Ashford Elizabeth II, Majacraft Suzi Pro and love all of them. I so so much spinning with My Roberta Electronic Spinner and I highly recommend this Spinner. great blog. Rowena Tank, Prescott, Arizona

  • 8 Mary // May 23, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    I loved reading about all your different wheels — so interesting! I found this blog post after Googling the Womack Butterfly, which I think I’ll be getting in June. Looking forward to it! 🙂

  • 9 Peg // Feb 23, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Wow, i am so very jealous; I would really like a Queen Bee, I have a Kromski sonata – Love it and Ashford Traveller (not a portable wheel). I’m considering a woolee winder for my Sonata.

  • 10 Laurie // Dec 2, 2012 at 9:14 am

    I am a spinning teacher in Portland, or. A friend sent me to your blog and review. I have fourteen wheels. Many of the same ones you do. I would agree with you on many of the wheels and suspect I will be sending new students to check out your review.

    Next time you are on the wheel hunt try the Olympic Spinning Wheel by Gary Peterson. It is beautiful, well made, spins like a dream and is an art piece like the Golding. Mine is a dragon wheel. Check the out as the wheel are amazing.

  • 11 Juno // Nov 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    You are hilarious.

    Do you have trouble with the electric bobbin winder? I find that it REALLY strains to fully fill a big bobbin and it would benefit from a variable control. I bought mine from the guy on ebay about 8 years ago.

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