I had quite the exciting (and productive!) weekend, which is always a nice way to start off a new and busy week. I missed my Inspiration Saturday post this weekend because the Fiasco and I were off hunting for spinning wheels at the knitter’s mecca: Webs!
If you remember from last week, I was having an internal debate over whether to make the 4-hr drive there and back twice in one week: once on Thursday to try the wheels out (when they are open late) and again over the weekend to pick up the wheel. The goal of this plan would’ve been to insure that I got my wheel order in before they sold out, since they were having a big 20% off a single item sale. In the end, I decided that making two trips was too crazy, even for me, and that I’d have to leave it up to fate and see what was left when I got there.
Everybody in the store was super helpful, even though they were totally mobbed with customers. The extremely sweet store manager, Stephanie, helped me try out the wheels. The Schacht Matchless was a gorgeous wheel: large and solid, with an attractive shape. The treadles were large and very comfortable to work. Unfortunately, we had quite a bit of trouble getting the double drive tension system set up so I didn’t get a chance to really try it out. I could see the Fiasco’s face start to fall as he watched a couple different ladies come by and fiddle with it for several minutes to try get it to work: he knew that since I’m crap with machines, he’d be the one who would have to fiddle with it at home. I didn’t want something that was a pain to set up or work with so we decided that at this time, the Matchless was not for me. (Disclaimer: this could have been this particular wheel or my general inexperience with double drive, I’ve heard wonderful things about the wheel from people who own them.)
The other wheels I went to try where the Schacht Sidekick, the Schacht Ladybug, and the Lendrum DT. (Note: the Lendrum link is an affiliate link to The Woolery, I could not find a company website for Lendrum.) I wasn’t interested in purchasing a travel wheel, but I tried the Sidekick anyway while I was there. You can just see one of its treadles in the back behind the fiber. It’s a tiny wheel, quite adorable really, and I like the look of the teal drive wheel (obviously). The sideways wheel was surprising to spin on, I often use my foot in a rung of the drive wheel to start it spinning and its not possible to do that on the Sidekick. I think that would bother me a bit at first but is likely something I could adjust to. The Ladybug was also a cute wheel, and seemed much smaller in person than it looked online. It was definitely much smaller than the Babe I currently own, so I felt a bit hunched over as I tried to work with it. There were some tension system issues with this wheel as well, the takeup wasn’t working properly, so it was difficult to get a good feel of how it would spin in tip top condition. Many people are very happy with their Ladybugs, but I wanted something a little larger and more solid (it is made with lightweight MDF, not wood) since I already own a lightweight, plastic wheel.
I was so caught up in spinning on the Lendrum, that I didn’t even take a picture! I loved this wheel the moment I treadled it. It’s much more attractive in person than I thought, the maple wood is lovely and the wheel has a nice, solid feel. It’s a tall wheel that is tilted at a bit of an angle so the orifice is closer to you than it would be if it were perpendicular to the floor. It seemed very simple to set up and use, and I appreciated small details like the slot where the orifice hook resides. I was already biased towards this wheel when I went in since I love that the complete package came with a lazy kate and three different flyers (regular, fast, and jumbo) that allow you to spin at 9 different ratios from 5:1 to 17:1, making it a very versatile wheel from the get-go, for which you won’t need to purchase many accessories right away. When I tried it, the spinning was smooth and effortless, and the store manager couldn’t say enough good things about the wheel — basically everyone who spins at Webs owns a Lendrum, and she was very excited to welcome me to ‘the cult’. Stephanie was so excited that even though they didn’t have any more in stock (they thought they did, but they couldn’t find them, even though the system said there was 1 left, but then it said there were 5 left, which was just crazy) she ordered a wheel for me and still allowed me to purchase it at the sale price. Huzzah!
And now we wait. I had mentally prepared myself for not even being able to purchase a wheel, so I thought I would be cool with not getting to take one home, and even bragged to the Fiasco about how I cool I was about the whole thing and that it was better this way since the wheel is supposed to be my Christmas gift so if I wait for it, I’ll get it closer to Christmas. I thought I’d be cool, but I’m so not! I want my new wheel! The more I think about it, the more excited I get! Also a little nervous, since that was the fastest I’d ever made a decision about a large purchase. But I think I did enough research and should trust my instincts anyway, right? Right! And of course, I didn’t come home from Webs empty-handed.
With the purchase of a wheel, you get a pound of fiber so I took home some Ashland Bay Falkland, which I think I’ll use to break in my new wheel. Even with a pound of new fiber, I couldn’t resist that blue-green braid of SweetGeorgia superwash BFL. I’ve admired Felicia’s colorways for a long time but had not yet purchased any. And even though I know I said I wasn’t knitting any Christmas presents this year, it turns out that someone on my list really wants some winter accessories and I think a chunky blue/purple cowl made out of Malabrigo Mecha will be just the thing. Finally, we went to a nearby gift shop in Northampton and found the coolest literary-themed candles ever. Aren’t they awesome?
What do you do to help yourself wait patiently for something really exciting? Help a knitter out!
I wish I knew what to do to wait patiently,but in this case that’s hard. It sounds like you got a really nice wheel and a really good deal. I know time will fly – just keep knitting (and spinning) and doing things that make you happy!
Sorry, can’t help you since I am no good at waiting or tamping down excitement!!! Good luck with your new wheel.
I don’t have any patiently waiting advice. All I can say is, I have a Lendrum DT, I absolutely love it, I also had to wait for mine to ship and it was *completely* worth the wait.
Oh yay! That’s always great to hear. 🙂
I am so jealous!!!! I want to go to WEBS! It’s excellent that they ordered the wheel for you! I have no tips on how to wait patiently… I’m just as antsy when I’m waiting on the postman!
Webs is definitely a knitter’s mecca… worth a trip if you’re ever in New England!
Your search has been so interesting, we dont have many kinds of wheels in Australia, so this was vicarious test driving for me, sounds like you made a good choice.
Thanks, Rebecca! I believe that Ashford wheels are made in Australia and are excellent wheels, so even if you didn’t have access to others, you’d have fine wheels to choose from!
Thank you for sharing such a fun process! As far as waiting…I would (try to) knit as much as possible…if that wasn’t enough of a distraction, I’d maybe prep the fiber. I don’t spin, but don’t you have to draft it before you spin? That way, as soon as it arrives, you just spin 🙂
Good tips! I’m trying to take that knit-as-much-as-possible approach. 🙂
I’m busy tidying while I wait for the extra flyers I ordered for my wheel, one of them is also a Christmas present but since Dh has already opened his Christmas present I get to as well!
Early gifts are such fun!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Pingback: WIPWed #74: Feeling Thankful | Woolen Diversions
Congratulations on finding a wheel you like, and getting it at a great price! Isn’t Webs and the staff fantastic? I am lucky to only live twenty minutes from the store. I unfortunately missed the day of the sale (was it the same as bag day? I missed that too), because of family things going on.
To everyone else, Webs is definitely worth a trip for if you are into yarn and fiber arts of any kind!
Pingback: WIPWed #75: New Wheel In The House | Woolen Diversions