View Full Version : What do you think about this wheel?

12-24-2008, 01:50 PM
I cant see paying $600+ for my first beginner spinning wheel so I have done some looking around and I found the Fidelis here (http://www.heavenlyhandspinning.com/e-commerce-solutions-catalog.html) at Heavenly Hand Spinning (http://www.heavenlyhandspinning.com) and am wondering if anyone has any experience with this wheel or if it even looks like an ok wheel for the price. Any input is appreciated. ThanX

12-24-2008, 03:24 PM

i don't have any experience with any of those wheels but i haven't heard anything bad about it when it comes to being a first purchase

there are also babe wheels (http://www.babesfibergarden.com/index.php?page=shop.browse&category_id=6&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1) which are in the same price range and alot of people seem to like those

here is a long review i pulled from ravelry on the fidelis

Accessories: The wheel comes standard with orifice hook, three bobbins (two at 6:1 ratio, one that is a 6:1 and a 9:1 combined), and a lazy kate that holds two bobbins. Extra bobbins in both the 6:1 and the 9:1 are available.

Description: This is a simple, functional, modern style wheel. Very cute, too! Very affordable. The pricing is in line with a Babe, but this is ever so much nicer in my opinion. I paid $178 for a single drive, Irish tension, single treadle wheel made of lovely red oak, hand finished with Danish oil and including three bobbins and a kate. Whatís not to love? The wood is really nice, just pretty and glowing in person. Black and chrome metal wheel (possibly a bicycle wheel?). Weight is about 8 lb. Orifice height is 24 in. Height is 28 inches x 16 and 1/2 inches wide x 14 inches deep.

Strengths: This wheel suits my current needs exactly. The bobbins are HUGE; the seller says they will hold 4 oz at least, but I got 7 oz onto one with no problem. The hooks are spring clips that slide up and down the flyer, making it easy to evenly fill the bobbin. This is a sturdy little wheel; well balanced, spins perfectly, and just as advertized.

I donít have to treat it like glass; in fact my 5 year old daughter is learning to spin on it right along with me (and doing an excellent job)! The orifice is 9/16, well suited for plying and novelty/bulkier yarns if that is your desire.

It is small and light enough to easily transport, though a bit unweildly as I donít have a cover or case. I might sew one up out of canvas. I put it in the back seat of my car and fastened it in with a seatbelt to take it to my mothersí house.

It comes pretty much assembled; I had it up and running within a few minutes.

Weaknesses: I will not be spinning lace weight any time soon with the available ratios. The wheel can take fast and intense treadling (with a bit of shaking), but my knee canít! Luckily this suits me, as I intend to spin to knit, and wouldnít bother to spin weights I wouldnít use. Lace is not my thing.

Also, be aware that you might sometimes need to lubricate the flyer before you sit down to spin. It is easy to tell when it needs a drink, as the flyer gets slower and a little Ďboggyí.

Overall: I love this wheel. I am having a blast with it, and am pleasantly surprised by the quality I obtained for my money. I will purchase any accessories that are offered in the future. I have been spinning almost non-stop like a woman posessed since I got it.

Heavenly Handspinners is a small family side business, and the care put into Fidelis is apparent. They are well made and for the price, these little wheels are a labor of love. Customer support is great. The seller (Jan Ford) is prompt, friendly, and eternally patient and helpful with my bone-headed newbie questions.

It is my opinion that the Fidelis wheels are an excellent option for those of us who would like to begin with a nice little wheel, but canít/donít want to necessarily spend $500. Yay small business!

hope that helps!

12-25-2008, 11:25 PM
One thing that caught my eye is that it is a bobbin lead (i.e. Irish tension) Most wheels are a flyer lead (Scotch tension) or a double drive (where you adjust the tension on both the bobbin & flyer).

This isn't a bad thing, just a different way. I know a spinner that has spun on nothing but a bobbin drive and she loves it!

The ratios are limiting (6:1 & 9:1) but again, for a first wheel that is okay.

If you really want to get into spinning, you may just want to wait and save a bit more.

I have a variety of wheels, but keep going back to the Kromski Sonata for spinning and my Ashford Traveller (with jumbo bobbin) for plying. The traveller was my first wheel, the sonata was my last. I'd still be spinning on the traveller but needed a wheel that I could take on airplanes.

12-26-2008, 09:03 AM
Thank you for the input, I appreciate it very much.
The bobbins also include 13:1 ratio on them (not sure how much a difference that makes)
And is there anywhere I can read up on small things like the difference between Irish and Scottish tension other than bobbin lead and flyer lead, like what does that really mean.

12-26-2008, 03:10 PM
Thecanfield thanks for starting this thread, I was gonna post about this same wheel last night but was too tired. I too am looking into it. looking forward to any other posts/replies.

12-26-2008, 03:32 PM
No problem jberry16.
Although Iím starting to think about the good ole saying that states
"A little patience goes a long way."
and just save up for the ever so nice lendrum, Iíve heard wonders about this wheel and the standard kit, single treadle, that starts you out with the basics is $374 if you have a bit more patience then the complete kit, single treadle, includes a nice selection of accessories (shipping included some places) comes to $500
So when my wheel fund hits the $200 mark ill have to make my decision to hold out or not.

12-26-2008, 06:08 PM
thanks. Mine has hit the $200 mark & I have a bday in April, maybe I should hold out :think: I think I'll go look at that one you mentioned. Thanks agin.

12-29-2008, 03:32 PM
And is there anywhere I can read up on small things like the difference between Irish and Scottish tension other than bobbin lead and flyer lead, like what does that really mean.

Let me see what I can find for you.

Here is an article (http://www.babesfibergarden.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=74:bobbinvsflyer&catid=37:bfgmaterials&Itemid=61) that explains it pretty well!

12-30-2008, 11:33 AM
Thank You, mullerslanefarm, that explained it very well and helped me visualize the difference. I understood the flyer lead, how it spun and how it wound onto the bobbin, but the bobbin lead was confusing me I could not piece together the physical mechanics of it, but that helped a lot ThanX.
Iím one of those guys that loves know how everything works even if itís just a spinning wheel. ;)
I have decided to hold out for the Lendrum so itís going to be a bit until I get to play, or ply. hehe

12-30-2008, 07:23 PM
I went ahead and ordered the Fidelis wheel, I'll let you know what I think when I get it-if you're curious. There's a group for Heavenly Handspinning on Ravelry, just searh it if you are a member there. Lots of good advice & nice people.

12-30-2008, 09:14 PM
Yes please let us in on how the wheel works out, and i looked at the HH group at ravelry and they do seem to be a nice buch of people with alot of info. Cough...Cough... not as nice as KnittingHelp though :) :)
It is realy nice to find a groupe of peopel who are looking at the same you are when asking question. Have fun and keep us updated.

12-31-2008, 08:26 PM
Lendrum, huh?

Nice wheel, owners totally rave on them. I've had a chance to spin on a few and I was really less than impressed, only because it seemed to be a chore to treadle.

Check out the Fricke S-160. Same sort of style as a Lendrum, but not as pricey. Totally functional and has taken many spinners from beginning to thoroughly practiced

01-03-2009, 01:32 AM
Totally beginner spinner here. Not graduated to a wheel yet, although I have one literally 2 feet away... shop Craigslist! And eBay! I lost a fabulous deal on eBay due to my poor timing of rummaging through my fleece stash (Doh!), only to find a much better deal on Cragslist. I bought it the next morning. Over $1200 worth of equipment for $250!

*** Your results may vary, these bargains not typical. :)

01-03-2009, 01:47 AM
Oh I'm so not kidding, if you want to buy a spinning wheel you have to check Craigslist in your area and any area within reasonable driving distance.

I just did a google search on "spinning wheel craigslist" and found numerous incredible bargains in many different areas. Same goes for looms, drum carders, etc., sometimes there will be loads of em, sometimes none, but you have to keep looking!

01-03-2009, 08:17 PM
jberry16 - i'd also love to hear how it works for you.. i've been looking for a second wheel and this may make it to the list

and i have to agree with whitelotus about watching ebay and craigslist in the meantime.. i got a good deal on my wheel from ebay.. it's an ashford and i love it!

01-13-2009, 06:02 PM
OK I just thought I'd share my experience with the wheel since I've had it now for a tiny bit of time; it arrived last night at 6:30, I've had about an hour last night & about 2 hours today to play with it. What a great wheel!

01-14-2009, 03:30 PM
Oh Julie, that is totally awesome!!! WOOHOOOO!!!!!
You've gone to the dark side, hehehehehe, I hear they have cookies!! LOL!!

01-14-2009, 03:50 PM
Nice Nice Nice Nice Nice Nice
im still saveing but soon.....ish ill have a wheel too
have fun

01-14-2009, 04:15 PM
Oh Julie, that is totally awesome!!! WOOHOOOO!!!!!
You've gone to the dark side, hehehehehe, I hear they have cookies!! LOL!!
I hear they have donuts! :roflhard:

01-14-2009, 06:16 PM
Yep yep yep AND cake ta-boot!!:clink::whistle:

Lady Violet
01-14-2009, 09:50 PM
My dark side has those miniature caramel rice cakes. :shifty:


O(n)T: I've decided that when I do get a wheel, it will be Heavenly cloud9 . (Sorry, couldn't let the opportunity get away.) I've heard too many good things about them, and they're cheap and creatively made. Love it! :thumbsup:

eta: Check out her youtube videos if you haven't already. Her spindle videos really helped me out.

01-15-2009, 09:39 AM
I hear they have donuts! :roflhard:


You're killing me here!!!!


01-15-2009, 09:47 AM
:roflhard: you're great fun ladyv. I've watched her videos lots too. Including her spindle videos that helped me tremendously too. Whenever you have the $ for the wheel grab one, they're fantastic! Mine after shipping to NM was $216.00, she ships UPS, which I suppose is a bit cheaper but I prefer Fed Ex, esp since Dh works for them. Better company all around. Anyway go get you a heavenly handspinning wheel! They have a couple that are lower priced than the Fidelis too...and one that's higher; it's a DT.

04-07-2009, 02:02 PM
It looks like a great idea, and the bobbin seems very large, like something I'm looking for myself. However, I'm concerned about the contraption on the pedal part.

One side (right) drives the wheel as you would expect. The other side, however, is a pulley that pushes the rod up. I would really want to sit down and test this mechanism before I purchased it. It must be absolutely smooth acting with no jerks or hesitations when spinning. You might get by on regular wool, but try to spin silk, angora, etc, and you'll get frustrated. I'm not saying this WOULD do that. I'd just want to test it first.

Cheers, and happy wheel hunting.
(BTW, I second the Babe recommendation)