Monday, April 6, 2015

Louët S10 DT vs. Schacht Ladybug

Tämä on sen verran pitkä postaus, että hyppään suomennoksen yli tällä kertaa :) Ajatuksia Louët S10 DT:sta ja Schacht Ladybugista tuoreen kehrääjän silmin.

When I got my first spinning wheel little over a year ago, I really wanted a Schacht Ladybug. It looked nice and had both scotch and double drive. Unfortunately it was not available in Norway and I wanted to support a local dealer, so Silja Devine suggested getting a Louët S10 DT. I had never spun on a wheel before, so I had no presumptions on what I would get. 

I had some beginner's issues with my S10, but eventually with some Vaseline and googling I got around spinning actual yarn with it. In addition to one-braid skeins, I have spun 2 sweater quantities with my Louët, a 3-ply (light) fingering weight and a heavier 3-ply between worsted and DK. I can spin thin on the Louët, but it requires tricking the wheel by crosslacing the flyer to lessen the pull on my hands. 

But then Spinnvilt announced they would be taking in Schacht. I still wanted my Ladybug...

So, here they are, side by side:

After testing out the Ladybug I thought I'd write down some thoughts on both wheels.

Louët S10 DT:
+ "Spinning wheel for dummies". Very few moving parts, easy to understand. I had only done spindle spinning and watched some YouTube-videos before venturing forth with my first wheel.
+ Changing bobbins is easy-peasy. You cannot get them in the wrong way (well, yes you can, but there is no drive band groove on the other end, so you cannot SPIN like that).
+ Relatively easy to treadle one footed, even though it is double treadle. 
+/- Pulls like a freight train, fantastic for plying and thicker yarns, a bit tricky for thin singles.
+ Sliding hooks on the flyer - love these things!
+ Plastic driveband and leather break band - pretty much indestructible.
+ Relatively large bobbins.
- Only one tension type (Irish tension / bobbin lead)
- The drive wheel has a preferred stopping point - at my wheel it is the hole situated at 1 o'clock. If it is not there, it WILL roll there by itself. 
- Doesn't have a hook / screw to attach your singles to when you stop spinning on the side of the mother-of-all like the Ladybug does.
(- It really isn't pretty to look at...)

Schacht Ladybug:
+ Scotch tension and double drive, so my collection is now complete. Haven't tried DD yet though.
+ I feel I have more control on the Scotch to do minute adjustments than the Irish.
+ You can adjust the take up to almost nothing to allow for easy thin spinning.
+ Large treadles allow adjusting foot position while spinning.
+ The wheel doesn't seem to have a preferred position, so it will stay where you parked it.
+ Little screw on the side of the mother-of-all to wrap your singles around when you stop spinning.
(+ just so darned pretty)
- Changing bobbins is a lot more hassle than on the S10. You will have to make sure the front maiden is just right after changing, or you'll face troubles.
- I miss my sliding hooks... You can get a Woolly Winder though, or the bulky flyer head.
- I have not yet mastered one-footed treadling.
- Due to allowing multiple tension methods, you can put the bobbins in the wrong way.

I love the Ladybug and have no regrets in getting it, but at the same time I am happy I didn't get the Ladybug as my first wheel, since I had absolutely no experience on wheels. It is much more complex system, and I still keep on forgetting to take off the break band when changing bobbins... The S10 is just *easy*. I will be keeping it for plying as the bobbins are bigger (I don't have the bulky flyer for the Ladybug) and the Irish tension gives more take up. I tested plying on the Ladybug and to get the amount of take up I was used to on the S10 I really had to crank the breakband and treadling became very heavy.

Louët is now offering configurable wheels, where you basically can build your own, so the S10 as its own model is no longer available, but there is a configuration option to get the same set up.