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ZoeS 10-10-2013 09:55 AM

Louet s15 vs Cassandra wheel
I am comparing these two for a more mellow wheel, that is slower and less demanding than my other wheel.

Cassandra: (+100$ to ship)


The Louett is cheaper, but the Cas has a double treadle. The Louett is better known, but has some negative reviews. The Cas has PVC bobbins, but the Louett is ugly as sin.

Any input is welcome!

DogCatMom 10-10-2013 02:03 PM

What wheel do you have now? Is it in good shape (i.e., drive band has good tension, footmen have good connection to conrod and treadle[s], all parts spin freely)?

Well-made wheels can work for over 150 years; ask many spinners who work on "old" wheels. :)

If at all possible, test the Louet; there's a direct-importer in Canada (but I don't know your location). It has lots of fans for its smooth action. I'm not familiar with the Cassandra, but why would a wooden wheel use PVC bobbins? The photo you linked doesn't show them.

Hope it all works out.

ZoeS 10-10-2013 03:37 PM

I am not sure what kind of wheel I have.

It definitely works, it's just REALLY fast and I can't draft fast enough, so I end up with thick, over-twisted yarn. Plus, it only has one small bobbin and a small orifice. I have no intentions of getting rid of it, but I get frustrated with it. You know that weird, tingly, sweaty feeling you get when you're frustrated? Haha, maybe it's just me. But I have yet to master it.

I'd love to try the Louet before I commit but it's a few hours away so unless there's something dreadfully wrong with it, I'm kind of committed to it if I make the trip.

I have learned a lot more about the Cassandra (the maker has a forum on Ravelry and youtube videos which have proven insightful) and am leaning in that direction. I think.

No idea why they use PVC instead of wood - it doesn't make sense to me, either! That said, the maker (John) is pretty active in responding to questions and has a valid reason for everything he's done in creating these wheels, so I'm sure there's a reason for it. Or maybe it's just a cost thing. On the description it comes with 4 (or maybe 8?) bobbins so I guess a cheaper bobbin keeps the price a bit lower, which I can appreciate.

Ah - here's the bobbins:

ZoeS 10-10-2013 09:20 PM

"On the bobbins: I chose the PVC core for the simple reason: To consistently drill a wooden core takes expensive bits and tools, well out of the reasonable price range. By using PVC, with turned wood ends, I get a stable size/diameter, with good rigidity in the length needed with light weight, and low cost. So, I can offer extra bobbins in packages, and sell them for $10, a price far lower than most makers extra bobbins."

That's the reason for the PVC bobbins :)

DogCatMom 10-12-2013 10:12 AM

A narrow orifice often means that the wheel was originally designed to spin flax (linen). Not 100%, but often.

If you're on Ravelry, send a photo of this wheel to the group Antique Spinning Wheels. They'll not only identify it but probably give you the name of someone who can get it into tip-top shape *and* help you with ratios.

New spinners (I may sound experienced, but my physical skills are those of a beginner) often treadle too fast and make the wheel grab the fiber more quickly than they can draft it. Practice treadling without any fiber in your hands; maybe read a book or pet a cat/dog. A steady, regular rhythm is good.

But check things out w/Antique Spinning Wheels; it's truly an amazing group. :)

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