Meet my new spinning wheel!
After changing my mind a thousand times, I decided to sell my Aura and replace it with a Spinolution Hopper. This wheel is small and compact, the craftsmanship is much improved since my old first generation Mach 1, and it has fairly large bobbins plus an optional jumbo flyer head upgrade that I can purchase if the need arises to fit 2 lbs of fiber all in one skein. (Ironically, seeing the jumbo head is what sold me on this model of wheel, even though I opted for the normal head on the one I bought.)
It wasn’t exactly Love At First Spin… The entire head swayed back and forth wildly while treadling, due to an ill fit where the big, square peg attaches the head to the body. I was able to minimize the movement by cutting up a Kleenex box into a 3-sided shim. And the bobbins each had a spot where they scraped against the wood backing when pressed fully down on the shaft, so I used a cereal box to cut little, circular washers that keep the bobbins spaced further out from the base. The wheel is pretty finicky, as are almost all Spinolutions I suspect, but I really feel like it’s worth the trouble to have a wheel that provides so many things on my wish list. I hope so, anyway. I’ll report back after I’ve used it more.
Here’s the inaugural skein, spun from a semi-felted Wensleydale fleece:
Why I sold the Majacraft Aura (because I know you’re going to ask): My bad back screamed out in protest every time I had to carry it from one room to another, or heaven forbid up and down the stairs. It’s a large, sturdy wheel and I am a giant wimp. (If you are less wimpy than me, it shouldn’t be an issue for you.) Also, my personal preference is for the flyer arms to have pegs or hooks (for no other reason than because that’s what I’m used to) and I never really fell in love with the squeezy-wire-circle contraption.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Aura and would still recommend this wheel to others. The craftsmanship was impeccable and the wheel is capable of making gorgeous yarn of almost any style and thickness. It just wasn’t the right wheel for me.
I only have one true “complaint”… The large, sharp wire coil that acts as the orifice hook sticks out and gouged into my leg a few times while I was absentmindedly walking by. I wish Majacraft would put some kind of cap on the end, or even just a dollop of hot glue.