As you may already know I recently bought a new wheel (which I’m extremely happy about btw). Since it’s a new wheel by a new ‘brand/ maker’ I thought I’d say a few things about my experience with it (the wheels themselves are made by Louet, but they’re fabricated for Woolmakers).
Before I start I’d like to say just one more thing. I’ve been jogging in the mornings these past few weeks and though at first it’s very hard getting up early in the morning, it’s been very helpful to be greeted by this view:
I really enjoy being up so early and spending some time outside before getting back to Lilirious HQ for some work on the latest projects.
Now let me tell you something about Bliss 🙂
I noticed that here are a lot of people who love spinning wheels that have a more authentic and ‘oldfashioned’ (for lack of a better term) look. I’m not one of those people, so I’ve had some difficulty finding a wheel that suits me. As you know I started spinning on a Rotterdam (an S10 look-a-like), which is still a rather ‘modern’ looking wheel. But still I felt it was too massive. I’ve been looking at the Schacht Ladybug for ages, but it was a bit out of my price range at the moment, so that wasn’t going to happen.
That’s when Woolmakers decided to make an entrance into my life. Hello beautiful modern wheels! I understand that part of the joys of spinning (for some people) are the nostalgia brought on by a classic spinning wheel. But again, I’m not one of those people. I’m more of a technical person, and one of my main concerns is silence.
The reason I stopped spinning for a year is because the my dear Rotterdam sounds like a passing train on steroids. Combined with the fact that I really enjoy spinning in the evenings/ nights was a deadly blow to my spinning mojo.
Bliss on the other hand is exactly what I was looking for. First of all it’s made by Louet. The wheels made by Louet are sturdy and some have been working for over decades without any problems. The other bonus is the spare parts. You can still buy every bit and piece needed for a Louet wheel. It’s a very decent service!
Because Woolmakers is a very young company, that might have been a reason for me not to buy their wheel just yet, and wait for more reviews before making a choice.
So let’s talk about the design. The first thing you’ll notice is the color. I personally love it. The minimalist design is highly functional. It’s very compact, without things getting in the way.. The lazy kate is imho a great success! Overall, the architect in me, is thoroughly satisfied with the lines and the surfaces of this wheel. An extra addes bonus is the comfortable fanning properties on the lower ratio’s, when the wheel turns faster. I was plying during a heat wave and I was very happy with this effect!
Apparently I have dirty feet.. sorry about that. I tend to walk around barefoot when it’s hot out, so I tend to get dirty feet. I didn’t even notice until I stopped spinning (and then I just had to snap a picture). The treadle (I have the 1 treadle edition) is extremely comfortable. My other wheel only has a treadle on the right side of the wheel, which I find rather annoying. I can’t choose how to sit (or sprawl on the couch) in front of my wheel, this is already partially determined for me. I also can’t switch legs when my right ankle starts to hurt.
Bliss, however, has completely taken this problem away for me. I can choose which foot to use (or just to use both). I don’t have very big feet, but as this picture shows feet much bigger than mine will fit on the treadle with ease.
So of course I’ve been trying out the awesomeness of this new wheel. My Rotterdam was an Irish tension wheel with only 1 ratio, wile this wheel is a Scotch tension with four ratio’s (1:6,5, 1:8,5, 1:12 and 1:18,5). I had previously read that the higher ratio’s made it a bit harder to treadle but I had to try this out for myself.
While spinning I moved up one ratio just to try out the feel and noticed that it really does become a bit harder to treadle when you use the higher ratio’s. Because the treadle is so big it also allows you to spin using both feet (on 1 treadle), which is actually very comfortable. I ended up spinning most of the yarn on the highest ratio using both feet 🙂
One of the biggest differences between my other wheel and Bliss is that I can spin very fine yarns without any problems or trouble. With an Irish tension wheel there’s a lot of tension on the yarn because of the construction. The wheel and the bobbin are directly connected, so when the wheel moves, the bobbin moves, which means that the fine and delicate single you’re spinning can be either yanked out of your hand or can easily break.
The yarn in this picture is 111 grams and 620 meters long (chain plied). I was not expecting it to become so fine and I’m very pleased with the results, but I’m not even there yet because I had a total of 250 grams of corriedale in this color, but I still need to spin the other 250 grams of khaki as well.
I was intending for it to become a sockweight yarn so I could combine it with the khaki colord one for a fair isle jacket, but I guess now it’s a bit too fine for that and I’ll have to figure out something else to knit with it 🙂
The good thing about making rolags with chunks of the top rather than separating the top is that the colors stay together and form a gradient. It’s also an interesting note for myself, but I expected the colors to be more muddy than they turned out.
So back to Bliss. Woolmakers sells Bliss (and the other products) for a soft introduction price (which includes shipping!) until the first of September! I’ve only so far spun this one yarn, so I can’t really say about different types of yarn, but I’m happy with the results I’m getting and I’m especially happy with the sound and vibrations I’m NOT getting!
Happy spinning 😉