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.