When I learned to spin about 2.5 years ago, I learned on a drop spindle, and I was utterly hooked. Six months later, I took a class with the same teacher, Carol (who is full of awesome, I might add), on a double treadle Ashford Traveller, and loved it.
I was intimidated by the cost of a new wheel for a new-to-me hobby, though, so I took some time to investigate wheels and decided that while I was attracted to both the Ashford Traveller (which I had gotten to try), and the Schacht Ladybug (which I hadn’t, but heard great reviews about), I would try to buy a used wheel for my “first” wheel and see if I could grow with it before investing in a brand new wheel.
You may recall, that wheel was a refurbished Traub – single treadle, Irish tension. It’s so unique looking and beautiful, even for all its battle scars, and I really enjoyed it. It took me a little while to figure the tensioning out, but eventually I got humming along on it just fine.
That said – single treadle is not for me. I have pain issues – using one leg to treadle all the time was causing knee, ankle and calf pain. And if I was going to commit to a wheel with double treadle, then I also wanted a wheel with both Scotch tension and Double Drive. Why not go whole hog, right?
So, I started putting money away for a new wheel, and once again, the decision came down to being between an Ashford Traveller and a Schacht Ladybug.
I went with the Schacht Ladybug, as you can see here:
with my little ladybug friend here:
I decided on the Ladybug for a few reasons, including:
- made in the USA with reputedly excellent customer support based in Colorado
- the orifice is straight-on (not off to the left like on the Traveler – I feared I’d twist myself to meet the orifice on the Traveler, causing more back pain)
- it is reputedly very easy to treadle, even for people with pain issues
There were half a dozen more very tiny reasons to go with the Ladybug, but those are the big ones.
Last weekend we put her together, and I named her Lorelei, and spun and plied the entire weekend with nary a pain. She spun like a dream! I definitely made a good choice and am looking forward to getting to know my wheel better and have many happy years creating beautiful yarns. 🙂
[And btw, the Traub is for sale, as I don’t really have room for 2 wheels. Send me a message if you’re interested and we’ll talk! It’d make a great starter wheel for someone or would suit an experienced spinner!]