I need an intervention.
Well, at least that is what I told the Greenbank Mill Ravelry Group today. I fell off the wagon with all my ordering this time y’all. But, I seriously don’t think I have gotten anything new since the Cricket Loom. That was four months ago. And I certainly haven’t been on a spree in ages. I deserve a lapse. I don’t need to justify it. Besides, you only live once, right? (just nod your head in agreement )
Am I alone in obsessing over just trying stuff in this whole crafting thing? I don’t think so. I see something new and I just have to do it. Many times, it’s plain, old curiosity. And it definitely gets me every time. Other times, it’s just for the sheer convenience. There’s just a whole boat load of things I would love to have…without coming off as a hoarder, lol. Today, it’s a wheel…and stuff, lol.
Meet my new wheel!
Many of you may already know, it’s a Lendrum Original. After seeing so many of them pop up at the spin-ins, I had to see what all the excitement was about. I’m happy to report that it’s all completely warranted! The wheel is so beautifully made and there were so many smart decisions that went into it. I’m glad to add it to my family of wheels.
As the owner of three wheels now, I’m finding that all of these wheels have their strengths over each other. Reminds me of having different model cars with various options. It’s interesting noting where these wheels intersect versus their differences.
Take this new wheel, for instance. If you’re thinking this photo is a little off-centered, it’s really not. This wheel is tilted toward the spinner so that what’s on the bobbin can be seen as it is spun. I really like this feature because I’m always tilting my other wheels to see how the bobbin is shaping up. Having it tilted makes it unnecessary to have to waste any time stopping to look and then starting my treadling all over again. I’ve never seen another wheel positioned this way. It shows that the creator of the wheel is an innovative thinker. And that’s good to know.
It’s also solidly built and sits firmly on the ground. No wobble factor. No creaking. There’s nothing like treadling a wheel and hearing…silence. It’s a beautiful thing.
The Lendrum pretty much only has to be oiled in one place, which happens to be on the flyer for the bobbin. Sweet! That also makes it a very smooth spinner. The wheel comes with lots of options for various types of yarns, as I ordered the complete package. Definitely a good all-around wheel to grow with you.
Still, I can’t help but compare notes on these wheels, now that I have collected three of them…
The first thing I noticed about the Lendrum that is similar to my other wheels is the elastic drive band. The Joy and Ladybug both have somewhat elastic drive bands with the Joy’s band being pretty much identical to the one on this Lendrum.
They’re easy to maneuver. But they do tend to go slack at times switching between whorl sizes. They’re supposedly easily repaired. We’ll see when I get there. But, one little stroke of genius that sets the Ladybug apart in this area is the little device that is able to take up the slack when that happens.
That said, the Lendrum beats the Ladybug in quiet. Actually, even though the Joy has many more places that need to be oiled than the Lendrum, once those places are oiled, it beats the Ladybug in quiet too. What is quiet? Quiet is the absence of that creaking sound I hear when I spin with the Ladybug on any surface that is not completely level (which is usually any surface that is carpeted), lol. There are ways to minimize or completely get rid of the creaking. But, I normally have to spend a good amount of time figuring that out each time before I can get to spinning with it. Since, I’m usually pressed for time, I don’t always have the patience for that. I have two places I like to spin in the house and both are carpeted. One of the carpets is extremely level, so there’s no creaking when I spin with it on that floor and it’s great. Essentially, finding places where the ground is level works for this wheel. When the stars align, this wheel is a dream. But, actually getting it downstairs to that carpet or out the house is another story…which brings me to my next point.
The Ashford Joy has its own set of perks. For one, it’s size.
All of these wheels are intended to be travel/compact/portable type wheels. But as you can see, the Joy is dwarfed by these two wheels. Of course, that is good for some. Not so good for others who may be tall…I’m of average height (5’6″, so I’m good with many heights of wheels). In this area, the Joy is the star of this trio.
The Joy is easy to carry in the bag or by the handle and it fits in the tightest places. The bulkiest of this set, I would have to say is the Ladybug. It has the largest footprint, in my opinion and though it has a carry handle like the Joy, it’s a bit heftier than both of these wheels. It also doesn’t fold. All of this makes it a little tougher getting it downstairs or out around town. Some folks strap it into a seat in their car and travel that way. I drive a small car with a car seat in the back. It ain’t happening. Yet, while the Lendrum’s wheels fold up, I think the Joy tends to fold up a bit more compactly and completely.
Notice that there are bobbins hiding all over the place in this wheel, even while it’s folded up. Three to be exact. That’s a neat trick. There is also a Lazy Kate that is built into the Joy. When the bobbins on it are full and it’s time to go, you can just fold them in and fold up the Joy in one neat package. Again, the Lendrum is also a folding wheel. There is an option with the Lendrum for a carry bag just like the Joy. I can’t wait to get it to see how it works with the wheel. So, it’s highly possible along with the bag to carry bobbins. But, as it is right now, I’d need an extra hand to carry some bobbins and the wheel. As for the Lazy Kate, the Lendrum Original Complete package also comes with a free-standing Kate. You can order an attachable Lazy Kate with the Ladybug. But, it’s convenient to have the Lazy Kate attached, standard with the wheel, and ready to go whenever you’re out and about. If you happen to finish up, depending on the ply job, you can go for it right then and there, without having to carry anything extra. The bag adds more convenience as you can stuff a ton of fiber in there with your oil and a rag, and you’re ready for the world wherever you go to spin. The Ladybug’s not fitting into any bags-at least none that are conventional (…that I am aware of, that is).
Much of your time spinning is spent around that flyer area though. This is another place where I find the Ladybug shines.
The Ladybug’s flyer set up and the tensioning system for the brake band is a work of art. It takes a minute to get it together, but it is sturdy and with the addition of that little device I pointed out earlier in the post, it’s dynamite at setting it to just the tension you want and a really comfortable spin. It can also be used as a double drive wheel. I’ve never used it like that. But I’m glad I have the option.
Here, on the side, the Schacht’s were thoughtful enough to add a little screw to allow you to hang your orifice hook or wrap freshly spun singles or plied yarn. It’s a small touch. But it’s really convenient and it makes life so much easier.
The Lendrum’s is pretty similar, though not identical.
The orifice hook is very conveniently located as well and it can also be used to secure singles/plied yarn. You can’t see it in this photo, but I like how the singles is led from the sliding hook to the guide to the orifice. After having my singles or plied yarn get caught up and pinched in between the bobbin and the flyer onto the oiled flyer shaft, blacken and having to just live with it a couple times more than I’d like, this is a very welcome design. Less room for annoyances.
It’s tensioning system is a bit simpler and streamlined than the Ladybug’s. Quicker to get tightened and start spinning. I can dig it.
What I like about these two tensioning systems is that a cotton thread is used for the band (you can see it in the photo below). The Joy, by contrast uses what appears to be a type of plastic band. It works. But it’s not as nice of a touch as the cotton bands on the Lendrum or the Ladybug. I’ve had it loosen itself from the spring and snap on me about twice since I’ve gotten the wheel. That plastic vs. cotton thing could be personal preference though.
The flyer set up on the Joy is very non-fussy. Not quite as substantial as the Lendrum or the Ladybug’s flyer set up…But, when all you want to do is get down to spinning, it’s perfectly simplistic. You just screw it in and start spinning. Since the whorl choices are limited, as compared to the wider range of whorl options that can be used for the Lendrum or the Ladybug, it’s extremely quick to get going.
All three wheels have different ways of packing the bobbin. Above, you can see where the Joy has two sliding hooks. As the bobbin is packed, you can go down the row on one side and back up on the other to keep the bobbin wound neatly and evenly. That keeps it easy to ply.
The Ladybug is similar, but uses traditional, individual hooks. They work. They’re pretty delicate though and they turn a little from time to time. At some point, it’s possible they will need to be glued in place. And with all of them taken together, it’s highly possible that you might lose one or two over the years.
The Lendrum comes with a sliding hook on one side of the flyer. I have seen where many Lendrum users have opted for the Wooly Winder. But, that’s probably personal preference too. I haven’t gotten a full bobbin yet, so we’ll see how it goes with winding it evenly. So far, so good though. And though I haven’t tried it yet, I’m not convinced I can’t switch that sliding hook to the other side with little difficulty if I really wanted too. There is the option to buy an additional one though for about five bucks, if I find that it’s necessary. It definitely won’t break the bank.
Each of these wheels are normally touted as beginner wheels. But it seems that the Lendrum and the Ladybug have more ways to grow with you than the Joy, simply due to the many options that can be added to them through the whorl sizes. But once you get used to spinning, you can spin a variety of yarns on nearly any wheel. More and more, I’m finding that choosing wheels really is largely a product of what you need in a wheel and what looks good to you. I’m sure you’ve noticed my emphasis on being able to move around with my wheels. That’s important to me. I also tend to gravitate toward modern wheels versus more traditional-looking wheels. Along with community with other spinners and personal growth as a spinner, I use these factors in determining what I want in a wheel. So, I really think I’ve got a good starting line up in these wheels. I love them all!
In the end, it’s all about the production of handspun yarn though, right?
Take a look at this fiber I got from Paradise Fibers with a coupon that they sent me for ordering the Lendrum from them.
It’s merino silk and it’s what I’m spinning on the Lendrum. I love how soft and shiny this fiber is. YUM!! It’s practically spinning itself too, it’s so well processed.
In other news, I am making cakes. Yarn cakes!
Aren’t these cute? I’m so used to seeing commercial yarn cakes, it gives me a real kick to see my own yarn in this form!
Below is that spindle spun, finished from the last time you saw it. Turned out to be a pretty cute cake, if I do say so myself.
I had been lusting for a swift and a ball winder for well over a year now. I used to have a swift and ball winder, once upon a time. They were just waiting for a table. But I lost touch with them many moves and many downsizes later. Though I wanted to replace them, I normally would put my yarn and fiber diet ahead of that desire because I could wind yarn by hand if I wanted to knit with it anyway. But, now, equipped with a table, these tools make going from skein to cake lightning fast. Each cake takes probably about five minutes or less from start to finish…versus sometimes a half an hour or more for me, winding by hand. I probably will still wind a skein by hand from time to time. But, a sista gots to have options. An added benefit in this is I don’t need to use the hubby’s or the Boy Child’s arms anymore to wind a ball-both of which somehow don’t appreciate the look of a handspun ball of yarn as much as Yours Truly.
What can I say? At the end of the day, the reduction in the amount of scowls is payment enough.