As I told you way back at the end of April, I got a Matchless spinning wheel from Sheri at The Loopy Ewe.
Let me tell you…I LOVE IT.
The very first thing that I did was try spinning in double drive. Now, for those of you who aren’t in the know, there are three ways that a rotation of the big wheel can spin the bobbin. They are called Scotch tension, Irish tension and Double Drive. Lucky for me, the Matchless does all three(YouTube clip to show what I’m talking about.). One of the many reasons that I love this wheel so much!
In Irish Tension, the drive is over the bobbin and the brake is (often) an additional piece. This is often referred to as “Bobbin Lead” spinning. When I first learned to spin, I learned on a Louet S10 which has the whorl built right onto the bobbin itself and the brake is a strap of leather that lays over the end of the flyer and can be adjusted for more or less tension.
In Scotch Tension, the brake band (the one applying tension) is over the bobbin and the drive band is around the whorl (connecting it to the large wheel). In the Matchless this is a loop of string with a spring at the far end and one can adjust the tension by turning a knob. This is called “Single Drive” spinning. This was how my Ladybug was originally set up and how I kept spinning for 3 years. I could have attempted Double Drive…but never did.
In Double Drive, the drive band is looped twice around the wheel forming a figure 8 and then each of those loops are placed, one over the whorl, one over the bobbin. The downside to DD is that beginners can easily overspin and end up with rope-like yarns. The upside is that this is a WAY more efficient method of spinning…at least for me. I can’t believe that I never tried this before.
I’ve been putting my wheel, and myself, thru its paces and can honestly say that I love this wheel more and more every time I sit to spin. Yes, it is quite a bit heavier than my ‘bug but I find that I like that. The only downside is the lazy kate set up. I really loved the onboard kate that the Ladybug had because of ease of plying. I felt like I had good control and liked that the singles were feeding from directly in front of me. With the Matchless Lazy Kate, I have a glaring issue: The Kate can only hold 3 bobbins. That means that, at max with this tensioned kate, I can only make a three-ply yarn. Not that I’ve made a 4-ply more than once before but I liked the option! Plus, I have 5 Woolee Winder bobbins so that means there is always this one lone bobbin, full or empty, just sitting on a shelf somewhere. Dislike.
The more I spin, the more I’m very happy with my purchase and the more I love spinning…now, off to do so!