I Wheel-y Get it, now!

No I didn’t get my wheel yet. But, yesterday I gained a more thorough understanding of the different types of wheel tensioning, namely, Double Drive(DD) and the two types of Single Drive(SD): Scotch Tension(STn) and Irish Tension(ITn)–this one is also known as ‘bobbin-led’.

The wheel I’m looking to buy is a Fricke Double Treadle wheel. Fricke wheels are Scotch Tension. ST wheels have two separate drive bands: one connecting the wheel and flyer whorl, and one ‘attaching’ the bobbin to a spring-tensioned knob, which helps brake the bobbin to allow the proper amount of take up for the kind of singles you want to spin.

I learned yesterday, that DD wheels have an extra long drive band which is doubled along the bottom of the wheel(where you can’t see it), and the two halves are wrapped one around the flyer whorl and one around the bobbin. This means the bobbin doesn’t have its own breaking mechanism but spins at the same rate as the flyer. Based on this method of tensioning, I believe it would be harder for me to fine-tune my tension well enough to spin fine yarns without having to treadle like I’m being chased by the cops. (I didn’t say impossible, just.. harder. Don’t kill me, DD lovers!)

Then there is the other SD type of wheel, the Irish tension, or ‘bobbin-led’ wheels. These wheels are the exact opposite of Scotch Tension, in that they have the drive band around the wheel and the BOBBIN, and a separate little band used to brake the flyer (whorl)*.

Cool huh?

Some wheels, like the Schacht Matchless are both DD and SD(in STn) capable. While it would be cool to have a wheel that does both, I’m only in the market for something that allows a higher ratio(for finer yarns) without me having to change flyers.. The Fricke allows for this, comes in a double treadle format, and with a woolee winder, still costs less than a single treadle Schacht. Schacht, my dear, I love your spindles, but until you come down on the prices I ain’t buyin’.

Now that I’ve bent your ear or thoroughly confused you with wheel talk, here’s a closeup of Icarus as of last week; This is at the end of chart 2.

I’m just 3 rows away from the end of Chart 3, 4 days later. I had a bit of a nervous breakdown with this shawl, I tell you. First I got tripped up with a row in chart 1. After moving right along with that I get near the end of chart 3 and was about to run out of yarn.. DAMMIT!! I sweated and fretted and almost cried at the fact that any attempts to dye more yarn the same exact shade would be futile. Yes, I could have overdyed the FO but I didn’t really believe it would work unless I changed the color totally and I like it reddish.

But I got lucky! As I was searching for the other skein of KnitPicks Bare to dye it, I found a lone remaining ball of the yarn I’m using! Wow. What luck, huh? Here I’m thinking I’d lost a whopper of yardage in a skein-winding tangle accident, and there it was all this time.. You can believe I got on to adding in this yarn ASAP. But, between a head cold and preferring to spin rather than to let the fog of my flaming sinuses and sore throat cause me to mess up Icarus, I just started working on it again today.

Got any ideas for the next BeanCast? Let me know!

And awayyyyyyyyy we go!

*I put the word ‘whorl’ in parentheses because I just realized, the bobbin-led wheels(mainly Louet wheels) don’t really HAVE a flyer whorl. The brake band goes directly over the rod HOLDING the flyer…


6 responses to “I Wheel-y Get it, now!

  1. You explained more about wheel tensions,, that I actually understood, than anything I’ve tried to read up on. Thank you!

    Your Icarus looks extremely nice! I might attempt my Sea Silk storm scarf again real soon. I have so much trouble with laceweight!

    PS Try this for your cold.
    It soothes an irritated throat and relieves chest congestion and phlegm. The bad news: it tastes terrible — it really does — but if you have a persistant cough, it’s worth a try.

    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 Tablespoon honey
    1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    2 Tablespoons water
    Mix and take 3 teaspoons, to be on the safe side refridgerate the remainder.

  2. LOVE the BeanCast! I had no idea you did this also. I listened for a bit and it was great 🙂

    No ideas for you at the moment for the next BeanCast…unless you Val and Karen decide to do a combo cast. That would be fun to listen in on a SnB.

  3. Thanks for the explanation. I actually understand my Fricke a little more now!


  4. LMAO at Dani’s comment! What the HELL could *I* talk about?!?

    Crap, now I completely forgot what I was going to comment on from the blog post….hahaha!

  5. Funny enough, I just read an article in an old 1994 Spin Off mag. about “Maximizing your Shacht Matchless Wheel” which also included how you can use this wheel bobbin led as well.

    Yay wheels! 🙂

  6. Just ran across your blog, while googling “Fricke” and “Schacht” together. You have come to a similar conclusion to me. The Fricke seems like it might be the best low cost alternative to the Schacht I’ve been able to fine. I haven’t seen a Fricke yet in person though. One thing I like about the Schacht single treadle is that there is room for both feet on it. It seems like the Fricke has the same thing, with the super wide treadle. I’m not sure if the treadle exactly the same way though. Any insight?


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