Thursday, October 30, 2014

How To: Use the Sidekick Bag

The new Sidekick bag was designed to fit your wheel perfectly and snugly inside. There is only one correct way to insert your Sidekick into the bag. Here is a guide on how to properly place your Sidekick into the bag.



After folding up your Sidekick, lay your wheel on the floor with the treadle holding the flyer facing down (the "blank" treadle faces up as shown above). Orient the wheel so the bottom is towards you and the top is away from you. The bag should be laid out to the left of the wheel, like a book with the strap on the right hand side pointing towards the wheel and the flap opening to the left.



 Open your bag like a book (the strap will be on the right).



 Insert your Sidekick in the bag as shown above, the bottom of the wheel is still towards you, with the blank treadle facing up (the top is away from you).


As you zip up the bag, pull up the "walls" of the sides as you go around. The fit is snug. Your Sidekick is all packed up and ready to go wherever you go!

-Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our social media manager--the main reason you've seen more activity on our Blog, Facebook, Ravelry, and Pinterest. To see what's happening, click on the links below.


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Last Minute Halloween Ideas

This happens to me every year, I get so busy in my day-to-day life that I totally miss the rapid approach of Halloween. I always think to myself "I have plenty of time to figure things out!" Then it's the night before and I don't have any decorations or costume ideas.
Here are some spooky projects that you can make this week before scare-night.

Although this project may take slightly longer than a night, it would be a great costume to dress your loom in. Whether you finish it in time or not, the subtle skull motif is a great way to set the mood. Change the width or the length of the pattern to suit your needs.
By making simple size alterations, you could make anything from a small scarf to a big blanket.
By warping up a few yards on your Cricket or Flip loom, you can make a few of these cute little ghosts for your outdoor or indoor decor! These are super simple to make--an easy way for your
house to feel more haunted in no time!
Make this with reflective yarn for a night-time trick!
Another quick and scalable project is the Zoom Loom Pumpkin! Make them for cute fall decorations or make one for each table setting as a small hosting gift.
This can be made in a variety of colors and sizes to add some interest to your decor scheme.
What kind of projects can you think of that would be quick to make? Let us know in the comments below!

Also, don't forget to find us in the social media world!
-Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our social media manager--the main reason you've seen more activity on our Blog, Facebook, Ravelry, and Pinterest. To see what's happening, click on the links below.


blogger  facebook  google+  pinterest  ravelry  twitter  youtube

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Denise's Guide on Choosing a Schacht Wheel

This post is about how each wheel performs from Denise's perspective. For a list of specifications and additional information, check out our wheel comparison chart. With a personal account of each wheel, the comparison chart, and talking with your dealer, you should be able to choose a wheel with ease!


On the heels of Spinzilla, I still have spinning going around in my head!  I have all four Schacht Spinning Wheels and I use each of them. This was apparent during the week of Spinzilla: I have a Schacht wheel for almost any purpose.



I set my Matchless up first at 5 am on Monday morning. When I couldn’t sleep, I took it as a sign to dig in and start spinning. This wheel is so smooth I could virtually sleep while spinning. Set up on double drive with a new drive band, I can literally spin for miles. On my Matchless, I spin everything from wooly fleeces to delicate exotics, lace weight to chunky art yarn--and everything in between. They don't call it the Matchless for nothing! This wheel can be set up in Irish tension, double drive, or Scotch tension. For further explanations of these tension styles, check out this post.


I like a castle style wheel because I can draft with either hand and the orifice is right in front of me. Switching hands really helped me spin a lot of yardage and not be fatigued.



The Matchless wheel comes with a collapsible, tensioned lazy kate, 4 wood bobbins, 2 cotton drive bands, threading hook, carrying strap, medium and fast speed whorls. Four additional whorls are available, including extra slow (good for art yarn and beginners who treadle fast), slow (great for beginners and making thicker yarn), high speed (made for people who would like to make smaller yarn), super fast (this should be a standard Spinzilla whorl as it helps spin super fine yarn super quick). High speed bobbins can be purchased for use with the high and super high speed whorls when spinning in double drive (high speed bobbins are not required when spinning in Scotch tension). The Spinning Wheel Cart can be added to help with transportation. The Bulky Plyer Flyer package is a great add on for plying and/or art yarn.




My Sidekick usually lives at work. Sometimes during lunch I just want to zone out a bit on spinning, so I take my Sidekick outside for a spin. During Spinzilla, my Sidekick was my constant companion at work. To move it around the factory grounds, I just picked it up with the strap, treadles unfolded, and carted it around. This is a stable travel wheel due to the ingenuity of the design.


When we went to the Denver Art Museum for our mass spin-in on the last day of Spinzilla, I folded the treadles up and put it in our new Sidekick Bag for travel. The padded bag was especially helpful that day because it was a little rainy.



The Sidekick is set up as a Scotch tension wheel. It comes with medium and fast whorls, threading hook, carrying strap, 3 travel bobbins and a poly drive band. The new Sidekick Bag in olive green and burnt orange is now available. Additional options include: the Bulky Plyer Flyer package, Collapsible Lazy Kate, and the four extra whorls I mentioned above (extra slow, slow, high, and super high). I used the super high speed whorl on the Sidekick during Spinzilla with great results!





It was exciting that plying was allowed in the contest this year! So after spinning a bit, I plied on my Ladybug. I always leave this wheel set up with the Bulky Plyer Flyer package for plying and the occasional art yarn. I recently got the on-board Lazy Kate and it makes plying on the Ladybug a dream. This is a wheel that is easy to use for beginners (my first wheel), but it grows with you as your skills improve allowing for a wide variety of yarns to be made. This wheel is able to do all three tension modes: Irish, Scotch, and double drive, but it really shines in Scotch tension.


Coming with medium and fast whorls and threading hook, it also includes a poly band as well as a cotton band, and 3 travel bobbins. The wheel has 3 convenient built in handles, instead of a carrying strap. The Ladybug is a reasonably priced and a simple way to jump into spinning.

I must admit that spinning on the Schacht Reeves took some time to learn. I really bonded with it during Spinzilla and learned to appreciate the superb nature of the wheel. This wheel is FAST. If you want a wheel that makes worsted to lace weight yarn at an extremely fast rate, this is the wheel for you.


It comes with 3 bobbins, a lazy kate, and a medium and fast speed whorl. In addition there are 3 more whorls available. A slow speed whorl that is great to start out, and high and super high speed whorls that are fantastic for very fine yarn. The Schacht Reeves is available in several options: cherry or ash wood, single treadle or double treadle, flyer on the left or right, and a choice of a 24” or 30” drive wheels. The 30” drive wheel really gains momentum and adds to the speed of spinning. Flyer on the right is usually for people who are left handed and vice versa. However, which one you choose really comes down to preference.



I honestly can’t say which wheel is my favorite. In the matter of choosing a Schacht Spinning Wheel, I will have to quote the wise Maggie Casey……. “It depends.” It depends on the space you have available in your house, your budget, the yarn you like to make, if you would like to travel with your wheel, your aesthetic, the list goes on and on. We have a Schacht wheel for everyone!  To talk with someone about which wheel is right for you, visit your local dealer.

-Denise Renee Grace


Denise Renee Grace first learned to weave as a student at Bethel College. She later moved to Boulder and worked in a re-purposed product company where Barry Schacht discovered her and hired her to work in our sales and service department. Denise’s first love is spinning and she is especially fond of working with natural fibers on all four of her Schacht Wheels. When it comes to weaving, tabby tickles her. In charge of customer care, Denise spends her days here helping people—something she does so well.



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Friday, October 17, 2014

Spinzilla Final Tally!

Benjamin has spent the better part of a two days measuring the yarn, and fielding e-mails from our "off-site" spinners. We are finally ready to announce our final yardage for Spinzilla! 61,671 yards!!!

All the yarn from our "Schacht-based" spinners!

That is 35.04 miles, or more than enough yarn to reach from us to the Denver Art Museum, where 5 teams (including ours) spent Sunday the 12th spinning until our bobbins were full. Over 70 spinners showed up to this event, which was a major hit with the patrons of the museum.

For our team, the spinner who spun the most yardage was Denise Renee Grace. She spun 7,032 yards (~4 miles) of yarn using all four of her wheels!

Here is a closer look at everybody's yarn.



















Lara - 1,163 yards
Melissa - 2,586 yards
Beege - 1,229 yards

Caron - 2,767 yards
Stephanie - 4,496 yards
Deb B - 2,386 yards