Beth Smith

Conversations with Maggie – and a review

Listen in on a conversation from last night with Maggie.

Maggie: So, how was your trip?

Me: Very fun.

Maggie: What did you do?

Me: Well, I did a lot of spinning and met a lot of people.

Maggie: What did you do on the first day?

Me: On the first day we drove a long way and then I met Phreadde.

Maggie: Who’s Fred?

Me: She’s a really good spinner who was using a spindle she made herself.

Maggie: Fred is a girl?

Me: Yes.

Maggie: That’s a boy’s name.

Me: Well, she spells it different.

Maggie: That’s funny.

Me: She spells it P-H-R-E-A-D-D-E I think.

Maggie: No, you spell it F-R-E-D

Me: Well, she doesn’t.

It went on a little longer than that. So you can see I never made it to talking about even day 2 because even Maggie only wants to talk about Phreadde:-+

Today I wanted to include my little review of the Schacht Ladybug which will begin to be shipped to shops by the end of this month.

It is pretty small – hits me around knee height. It weighs 12 pounds and has 3 different handles. I was prepared to not be in love with this wheel because the actual wheel part is plastic – of course Schacht doesn’t call it plastic, they say composite. I just have never thought that spinning wheels should be plastic. Then again I don’t own very much Tupperware due to my dislike of plastic anything.

It does fit the Schacht Matchless flyer and bobbins as well as most of the whorls so if you already have a matchless and are looking for a more portable wheel this is a positive thing for you. Those bobbins can be pretty expensive – about $30 each. I also call it a more portable wheel because this is not a folding wheel.

I got to spin on it several times over three days and it is quite smooth and lovely. You can make a wide range of yarns on it. There is a nice little tensioning device for the stretchy drive band for when you change whorls. They were showing it in Scotch tension but after some heart to heart talks with Cindy from Schacht, who did a large part of the designing, I found out that double drive is definitely and option as well as running it with a cotton drive band. As far as the double treadle is concerned, the movement is smooth and lovely and can also be used with only one foot.

Currently the on board lazy kate is not included which I don’t love. Those parts have to be purchased separately but if you have a kate that fits the Schacht bobbins already then it’s a non-issue. Also, plying always seems to go better for me if the bobbins are behind.

Over all I am very positive about this wheel. I think it has the capability to take a beginner a very long way before they would look for another wheel. It can be easily taken to guild meetings and the footprint is pretty small so it will take up very little space in your home. The interchangeable parts are a huge plus if the owner has or decides to stay with a Schacht product.
Cost wise it is very competitive at $525. An Ashford Traveller is $495, Joy with bag is around $650, Kromski Sonata with bag is $520 (if I’m remembering correctly), Majacraft Little Gem with the bag is around $600. So they are right in there in the right neighborhood to make Schacht a more viable option for people who want the quality of a Schacht product but couldn’t spend $899 on a wheel.

There are 2 main drawbacks that I noticed. If you are looking for a wheel to take on airplanes, this is not the wheel for you because it does not fold. And it doesn’t come with the on board kate, which I’m not too sure is a terrible thing since it wasn’t pretty. Of course once all of the bobbins are on the kate you would just see the bobbins so I guess I could go either way.

I’ll have two of these coming soon so you can try it out for yourself. (Really, that was just a ploy to get you to come and visit me at the shop)

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