On the wheel again –
Just can’t wait to get on the wheel again.
The life I love is making yarn with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the wheel again.
-Adapted from Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again”
I’m back on the wheel again. Spinning up some beautiful Merino/Silk blend fiber from Three Waters Farm.
I have a Schacht Sidekick for those of you who didn’t know and I absolutely love spinning on it. I purchased it in March 2013 at the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Show from Susan who owns Susan’s Fiber Shop in Wisconsin. That day I had no idea I would be purchasing a wheel, but after falling in love with the gorgeous fiber braids I was seeing all over Etsy, Instagram, and my LYS Natural Stitches, I picked up a drop spindle a week or two prior. Well, that lasted until I sat down and spun on the Sidekick at the PK&C show. I was in love. Bye bye drop spindle hello world of spinning wheels. I won’t kid you – this wheel is expensive and definitely an investment, however, spinning wheels tend to hold their value and Schacht is a quality spinning wheel maker in my opinion. The Sidekick is great because it folds up and travels nicely and is one of the less expensive wheels that Schacht offers (compared to their Matchless wheel). Honestly, I would have purchased the Ladybug had Susan had it there, but she only had a Sidekick and a Kromski at the time. The Kromski looked a bit too old fashioned for my taste so I went with the more modern wheel.
Now to say my wheel hasn’t been finicky over the last almost year and a half would be a lie, but for the most part, it’s been my user error. In fact, I believe I had my wheel set up incorrectly for the last year and a half. LOL.
Finding in-depth setup videos on YouTube or in-depth setup instructions on the internet were and still are difficult for me to find. I did find a Sidekick video on the Schacht YouTube channel and that is how I found my mistake I guess you would call it…. I had the bobbin turned so that the 2 grooves (larger round and smaller round) were facing the back instead of them facing the front as the video had suggested. And, I finally figured out what the little black spinn-y wheel is at the bottom between the two treadles. It is for tension. Even though my wheel seemed to be spinning just fine, once I made those adjustments, I think my wheel improved a bit. So to say the set-up was entirely wrong may be inaccurate as I was still able to produce lovely spun yarns. Who knows. But, below shows the correct setup.
I will leave you with some pics of my first full bobbin while I work on spinning my second bobbin. This will become a 2 ply yarn in the end.