Sunday, May 10, 2009

the Matchless

I promised a review of my new Schacht Matchless and here it is finally.

It was not love at first spin for the Matchless and I. In fact, I panicked a bit about buying it at first. Treadling it made my legs hurt. After running this problem by Cal at Shuttleworks (I know I've said it before but I'm saying it again - such great service!!), I took his suggestion to switch from double drive to Scotch tension. It was a world of difference! It also explained part of my problem with the Elizabeth as I had always spun in double drive on her too. Spinning in double drive requires a bit more oomph because it pushes the wheel as well as braking the flyer with the same band.

Scotch tension helped a lot but I was still having some problems with knee pain. I saw in ads that there are wheels available for the Matchless (they call it a cart but it's really just wheels that fit on each side of the back of the base for easy transporting) and started to wonder if that would tilt the wheel more toward me and make the treadle angle better. I went to the Schacht group on Ravelry and asked whether it's possible to spin on the Matchless with the wheels attached and learned that it is and that the wheels lift the wheel about 2 inches up at the back. So I ordered the wheels as well as enough poly cord to make a stretchy drive band to replace the cotton string band. I had to wait for a couple of weeks for Cal to get them from the US but they came on Friday.

You can see that the wheel is tilted forward a bit with them on.

But my legs are much happier with the Matchless now.

And it's very easy to move the wheel around the house by using the drive band tension knob as a handle. The Matchless is not a light wheel.

Now there's smooth spinning on the Matchless. It did need some tweaks and lots of oil at the start but now it is a lovely wheel and I can declare love for it. It is also a completely silent wheel and I have great appreciation for that. I've thought about getting a WooLee Winder for it but that would mean a bit of noise from the gears as I spin so I'm happy with it as is.

I've almost finished the second bobbin of singles using my hand-dyed spotted merino/nylon top. I am so pleased with the soft denim effect!

I sent the Elizabeth for a sleepover at my sister Darcie's place to see if she would like to provide a new home. The single treadle and the flyer on the left hand side of her saxony styling still cause me trouble and it would be best for her to find a new home where she will be properly appreciated. The wheel that is, not my sister. She's already in a home where she is properly appreciated, at least as much as any mom of kids is appreciated.


Walden said...

Congrats on finding a wheel that worked for you, I am glad you don't have to stop spinning.

Jody said...

I am seriously considering a Schacht-Reeves 30 inch saxony wheel. I want to try the DD....I only have scotch tension wheels.

Monica aka Gloria Patre said...

I'm glad things worked out - there's nothing worse than feeling like you made a mistake when spending that kind of money!
I'm amazed at how your spotted top has spun up! I never would have thought the colors would have turned out so muted and lovely! Wow!