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mullerslanefarm
05-01-2008, 08:52 AM
I was at a fiber fest a couple weeks back and finally got to try my hand at various new wheels.

I've been spinning on wheels since 2002 and am very happy with the wheels I have but I have never had a selection of wheels to spin on to compare.

Susan McFarland (susansfibershop.com) had a wide variety of wheels available to test.
I was interested in Merlin Tree's HitchHiker (http://www.themerlintree.com/the_merlin_tree009.htm) since I will be traveling more for work. It had a different treadling because of the friction drive. But I think it will work well.

I tried a couple Louet models since I've heard such rave reviews from them, but I wasn't happy with the action of them. They seemed harder to treadle than my Ashford Traveler. bummer.

Majacraft Little Gem II was a nice wheel. Had great action and spun wonderfully, but the price tag (over $700) Ouch!

The Schact Matchless spun really nice in scotch tension, much easier than my Traveler, but I didn't like the way it spun with a double drive.
Then I sat downn at the Kromski Sonata, all I can say is WOW! I mean :woohoo: ! It treadled so easily and the fiber seemed to spin itself (I used roving I brought myself to spin on all the wheels).

Now I want one. Price tag is over $500, but I'm thinking if I sell my 70's era Ashford Traditional and my late 1700's Irish style saxony, I may have enough to buy it.

Foxyie
05-02-2008, 01:26 AM
well congrats on finding your dream wheel!

i 'd like to try out a bunch of different ones but it's too early for me to fall in love with another wheel.. heh

you may want to give ebay a try.. i saw a Kromski, not sure which model.. going for around 220.. and i just gave it quick glance but it seemed to be complete.

good luck with everything!

KnittinMitchie
05-02-2008, 09:40 AM
look around on line to see if you can get the wheel you want used. That is how I got my 70's model ashford traditional.

callmesusan
05-03-2008, 10:31 PM
All I can say is that I love, LOVE, love my Kromski (Minstrel.) I am a beginner and amaze even myself with the quality of yarn I am making. I had a chance to work on an Ashford Traveller recently and was so elated that I had made the choice to buy a Kromski; what a difference! The wheel comes directly from Poland, packed in Polish news papers and signed by the maker! It is a piece of art in my living room.

This is a pic of the first yarn I spun.

mullerslanefarm
05-04-2008, 03:00 PM
I've spun on a Traveller since 2002 and really, really love it. I didn't think I'd ever lust after another wheel, but that Sonata - yum!

mullerslanefarm
05-19-2008, 05:38 PM
Callmesusan - that is some gorgeous first yarn!

A Sonata came up on ebay and a friend (who has my traditional) emailed me about it. I could have waited for the auction to end (2 days and 10 hours) but I knew someone would snipe it in the last few seconds, so ..... I opted on the buy it now for $500 (free shipping and a 72" niddy noddy)

She'll be here Thursday or Friday!!!

Foxyie
05-20-2008, 12:46 AM
i saw that wheel last night and was gonna tell you about it today.. heh.. glad to see you got one!

mullerslanefarm
05-20-2008, 10:34 AM
Sellers pics:

http://www.mullerslanefarm.com/sonata1.jpg

http://www.mullerslanefarm.com/sonata2.jpg

callmesusan
05-26-2008, 01:37 AM
yay!! :woot: Let us know how you like it.

Doublereeder2
05-26-2008, 09:15 AM
Woohoo!!! I am excited for you! (This from the one who sniped her Scholar, heh, heh). Can't wait to hear all about it and see your beautiful newly spun yarn.

Doublereeder2
05-26-2008, 09:17 AM
All I can say is that I love, LOVE, love my Kromski (Minstrel.) I am a beginner and amaze even myself with the quality of yarn I am making. I had a chance to work on an Ashford Traveller recently and was so elated that I had made the choice to buy a Kromski; what a difference! The wheel comes directly from Poland, packed in Polish news papers and signed by the maker! It is a piece of art in my living room.

This is a pic of the first yarn I spun.

Holy moly! That is beautiful! Mine barely resembled yarn let alone was beautiful like yours!

mullerslanefarm
05-27-2008, 10:55 AM
Here she is!

http://www.mullerslanefarm.com/sonata052008a.jpg

http://www.mullerslanefarm.com/sonata052008e.jpg

And my first spinning on it:

http://www.mullerslanefarm.com/sonata052008b.jpg

I just finished plying it up last night but haven't gotten pictures of it yet. The roving came with the wheel - it came from http://www.cjkopeccreations.etsy.com/ Wonderful hand dyed rovings!

Doublereeder2
05-27-2008, 07:55 PM
Oh My! Beautiful!!!

callmesusan
05-29-2008, 01:26 AM
It's beautiful! How does she spin?

mullerslanefarm
05-30-2008, 08:56 AM
She spins like butta! Such an easy treadle. With my Ashford Traveller, I never really 'got' spinning with scotch tension (thankfully, it is also a DD!). The scotch tension on the Sonata is a breeze!

I ordered a Jumbo kit for it, but will be sending it back ... they sent a clear finish and I have a walnut wheel. I don't think I would really care for having to change out the front maiden to switch between the regular bobbin and jumbo bobbin. With the Traveller, I put the jumbo front maiden on and only have to insert/remove a grommet to switch between the regular and jumbo. Guess I'll be doing my plying on the Traveller

OH! I did order a WooLee Winder for the Sonata!!

Foxyie
06-02-2008, 02:39 AM
gorgeous finish this wheel has! and i like how the yarn on the bobbins matches the wheel and stove.. heh

mullerslanefarm
06-03-2008, 09:52 AM
I ordered a WooLee Winder for it last week and it came last night!!

Dear old Abigal (the stove). She's a working 1930-32 Montgomery Ward woodburning cookstove. I use her a LOT in the winter for cooking. Really saves on the utilities (both heating and cooking)

callmesusan
06-03-2008, 05:25 PM
I thought about getting a Wooly Winder for my Minstrel. Please tell me how you like it!

mullerslanefarm
06-04-2008, 12:15 AM
It really speeds up your spinning not having to stop to change hecks. I'm having a little bit difficulty getting use to it. It's operator error though. Just getting use to a new piece of equipment.

I was able to spin about 100 yards on each of 2 bobbins, then turn around and ply them in less than an hour. And that's with starts and stops and fiddling.

Jeremy
06-05-2008, 11:34 AM
I have a Woolee Winder and I really like it. Not only to you not have to stop to adjust where your thread is, its also very efficient space wise. I can fit a lot more on a bobbin.

callmesusan
06-05-2008, 10:18 PM
Thanks for the feedback on the Wooly Winder. I think I will get one.

mullerslanefarm
06-06-2008, 08:39 AM
I have a Woolee Winder and I really like it. Not only to you not have to stop to adjust where your thread is, its also very efficient space wise. I can fit a lot more on a bobbin.

The WW bobbin for the Kromskis are a bit larger than the Kromski bobbin also.

I just filled one bobbin last night. Skeined & washed it. It should be dry by tonight so I'll get a wpi and length for you.

4.5 oz and 326 yards

dotcuchmami
06-20-2008, 10:35 PM
Again... They seem to ROCK! I can't wait to get a Mazurka... I am so in love and in such pain about it... Did you get the wheel varnished? If so, what color?

callmesusan
06-21-2008, 08:28 PM
mine is mahogany and I just sit and look at it in joy

Betsnv
11-21-2008, 11:03 PM
I used to own an Ashford traveller, and I liked it very much. Now I'm looking at the Kromski minstrel. the only problem is that I like to sit with my wheel on my right side and treadle a single treadle because I like tend to do a long draft. The Mazurka has a single treadle, but I'm worried the wheel is too small. I haven't had a chance to spin on either one. I'm not sure I could get used to the double treadle. Has anyone tried both of these? What are your thoughts? thanks

KnittinMitchie
11-22-2008, 10:57 AM
I've got an older model Ashford Traditional so I'm no help. However I've been eyeing an Ashford Joy

msmelody
12-28-2008, 01:33 PM
Would you say a new Ashford Traveler would be a good beginner wheel?

mullerslanefarm
12-29-2008, 03:36 PM
The Traveller was my first wheel and it served me faithfully the past 6 years. Mine is a DT, Dd with optional Scotch tension. I use it mainly for plying now with the Jumbo flyer/bobbin.

I have also loaned it out to new spinners who have produced wonderful yarns in a short period of time on it.

I think it is a A++++ first wheel that would work well as your only wheel.