Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Tried & Tested: Schacht Sidekick Spinning Wheel

Susan Litton's review of Schacht's latest spinning wheel 'The Sidekick':

'I have been spinning for twenty five years and for a long time have been a very happy owner of a Schacht Matchless wheel. This wheel does everything I could want from a spinning wheel, except that it is takes up the space of a person in the car. So, I have been very tempted by the idea of a Schacht wheel, with all their built in quality, that folds and is easy to carry and transport.

George Weil already has the new Schacht Sidekick wheel in stock, so I was able to 'test drive' it. It looked a little odd when I first met it with the Drive Wheel sideways on. Unfolded it spins just as you would expect from a Schacht wheel: with ease and comfort, exactly what you want. The first small question was where to put the threading hook whilst I was spinning, but I am sure that can be easily resolved with a bit of handspun yarn. The unusual sideways view of the wheel from the spinning position was not a problem, I starting it running by hand in the clockwise direction, but a beginner spinner may find it confusing at first to remember which way to turn for an S spin and which way for Z spin.

The folded Sidekick
The wheel was already unfolded on first meeting , so I read the Schacht instructions and got some advice from the helpful staff there on folding and unfolding, that really is a better description than 'opening and closing' . It seemed very fiddly on that first attempt and I was a little disappointed with the number of bits to be screwed and unscrewed, unlatched, moved and tucked in on the fold and unfold. They do all fit together and there is a safe place for every part when carrying the wheel around with the built in strap. Then, I undid the wheel again, spun a bit more and then folded it up on my own. I did that a couple more times, so that I could really understand the procedure and it did become quite routine, so it is now on my list for a birthday present - and I don't want to wait until Christmas!'

If you would like to know more about the specifications for this spinning wheel, please visit the Spinning section of our website or see the videos on the Schacht Spindle website.

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