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 Will a Louet Successfully Spin Sock Yarn?
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TerriP
Chatty Knitter

124 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2007 :  6:09:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit TerriP's Homepage Send TerriP a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am a long-time knitter, but total newby in the spinning world. I am in the process of selecting my first wheel. As a knitter, I prefer to knit with worsted, DK, and fingering weight yarns.

My most local fiber shop sells Ashford and Louet wheels. There are other brands I am drawn to, but my local shop only stocks those, and I would like local service in the event that I need a new part or something. I am cautious as I don't want to outgrow my wheel, and I want the wheel to allow me to spin everything from fingering, or rather especially fingering, up to about a worsted weight without having to treadle myself into oblivion.

Any spinning experts have any thoughts on my query as to the Louet being a good wheel for fingering weight to worsted?

lld
Chatty Knitter

USA
166 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2007 :  7:25:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit lld's Homepage  Send lld a Yahoo! Message Send lld a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A couple of questions....have you checked that your local shop actually stocks parts and would help you repair it? Depending on where "local" is for you, you might do just as well with additional sources.

Which Louet?

Plying is a consideration as well (as in do you prefer to use singles, 2 ply, 3 or more plied yarn, etc).

What you can spin on a wheel depends more on the ratios available and your current skill. There are good reasons why many of us either already have or lust after more spinning wheels - beyond looks and just plain wanting.

You always want to try at least the wheel you plan to buy before you get it if you possibly can and as many as you can is better. You may find it's perfect.....or that it's just not comfortable for you for some reason.

This is just one of many available web pages that has useful information on different types of wheels:

http://www.woolery.com/Pages/selectwheel.html

Personally, I started with a Babe's Double Treadle Production Wheel, in part due to budget and in part due to not being sure I could learn on my own and enjoy it! I still like that wheel and I don't regret it in the least but.....I very recently purchased a Lendrum folding wheel (which I nearly bought in the first place) and couldn't be happier with it.

I did test drive one of the Louets - I'd have to look up which one - and it was nice but I didn't like it as much as the Lendrum and it didn't have anywhere near the range of ratios.

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eepster
Seriously Hooked

USA
704 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2007 :  11:13:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit eepster's Homepage Send eepster a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have an Ashford double-treadle double-drive Traveller, and I've spun lace weight on it. It's only limited on the other end of the spectrum, it doesn't do super bulky. The bulkiest I've spun on it knit up nice and loose on size 17 needles, and that took a little coaxing to get through the orifice. However, if you ever did want to start sinning very bulky you could get the bulky flier and bobbins for it separately.


{o,o}
./)_)
.." "
Jen
http://www.buddhabellyart.com/
http://www.cafepress.com/buddhabellyart
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kdcrowley
Permanent Resident

USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  08:20:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, louet will do those. It may take some time to get there. I have a GF who spins sock yarn on her S10. I think she started out spinning that, actually.

As for service, well, I have 4 wheels now, and not a one has needed service that I could not do myself, the last needs a refurbish, but it's 100 years old, so you can hardly blame it. And I happen to live close to Will Taylor and so he will do it for me.

Kelley
Check out my solar-dyed yarns at http://www.ceallachdyes.com
and my blog at http://ceallachknits.blogspot.com
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KS
Seriously Hooked

862 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  09:06:17 AM  Show Profile Send KS a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The yarns you mentioned are pretty much middle of the road & can be spun on any of the wheels you're likely to be looking at.

As far as parts go, unless your shop sells a lot of wheels, you're going to be ordering parts anyway. The internet is wonderful for that kind of thing!

Ashford wheels get bashed a lot, but they are good wheels too. I've got one that I've used to spin an awful lot of yarn. There isn't as much choice in the ratios as with my Lendrum, but you can make up for in by treadling more. You won't treadle yourself into oblivion spinning fingering yarn on an Ashford. I don't know much about Louet, but I'm sure it's the same there.

KS
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arlinem
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
442 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2007 :  6:52:50 PM  Show Profile Send arlinem a Private Message  Reply with Quote
i have a louett s10 and spin sock yarn on it without the new high speed bobbins that they now offer. i loosen the brake band completely and zig zag the yarn back and forth along the flyer at least twice before threading it through the orifice. this really eliminates the tension and lets you put a lot of twist into a fine yarn. i use top spun from the end and ply it. i also use the smaller side of the bobbin.
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Anepasor
New Pal

USA
20 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2007 :  11:06:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit Anepasor's Homepage Send Anepasor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think you can spin on all spinning wheels with enough patience and knowledge. Practice makes perfect. I spin laceweight on a Babe Production Spinning wheel. As much as I want to upgrade, I can't deny the dependability of my Babe. It is all about your aesthetic and spinning style which determines your wheel. Good luck.

Rosa
The curly haired knitting, spinning, and sewing mama.
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llinn
honorary angel

USA
1650 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2007 :  7:29:24 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've had an Ashford traditional single treadle with whatever ratio came with it 32 or 35 years ago. I can spin anything from lace to super bulky at a comfortable speed for ME. I gotta work a little more if I'm plying, but not that much.

I have no interest in any other wheel and honestly think collecting a whole raft of different wheels is sort of show-offy. (Lookit all my toys-kinda, sorta) But I am obviously limited by my comfort zone. And I'm not anybody else. I think practically any good wheel can spin any yarn once you learn thaat wheel, so just wander through the catalogues and shows and let your avaricious little acquisitive soul pick out the one that makes you happy. But tell yourself firmly that you will only buy yourself ONE wheel for the forseeable future so make sure it's the one you really want.

"giggle, snort"

Do you have any idea how much trouble you're in now. Spinning wheels, carders, drum carders, pickers, processing, roving, raw fleece, sheep for gawd's sake. (Look at Vi, she's up there talking to sheepie children) Then there's dying and blending and you'll never stop, never I tell you.

Cause you can't have mine.

Llinn
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1436 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2007 :  08:16:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you mean by sock yarn a fine, tightly twisted, multi-ply yarn I'd look for a wheel with a ratio around 1:20 and scotch tension (IMHO much easier for beginners). And a slower ratio for learning, of course.

So the Louet Victoria with "optional high speed range" (just reading the ad) of 1:25 should work quite well. If you are thinking of Louet S10 and company, I wouldn't bother. Yes, they can be tweaked to spin fine yarns - but why buy a wheel you know will need tweaking to do what you really want?

Among the Ashford wheels I'd have a closer look at the Elizabeth 2 - also a fast wheel "off the shelf". (I think that a wheel that's been designed to work at high ratios with standard equipment will work better at high speeds than one for which the high ratios have been added as an afterthought with a faster bobbin or flyer - but I could be wrong about that, as I've never had the opportunity to test that).

Any of the faster Kromski wheels should also work quite well for your purposes - I'm a big fan of the Polonaise...

Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
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fiberlicious
Permanent Resident

1637 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2007 :  08:28:50 AM  Show Profile Send fiberlicious a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One can spin any yarn on any wheel. The real issue is will it be comfortable? The Louets are more difficult with which to spin fine yarns, because it has relatively low ratios and a pretty strong draw in - both "features" that are the opposite of what you would ordinarily want to spin fine yarn. But if you don't mind treadling like a bat out of heck and can lace your yarn criss-crossed to reduce takeup, you can do it.
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purlewe
Permanent Resident

1916 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2007 :  11:34:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit purlewe's Homepage Send purlewe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My first wheel was a louet and I will say I spun all of those types of yarn on it. I particularly like the castle wheels for their smaller footprint and I didn't do much tweaking to get what I wanted from my wheel. (I got a S10 double treadle)

That being said after 2 yrs of spinning on it I went for a wheel I never knew I would want. I bought a 30" Reeves with double drive/scotch tension that I adore right now. When I first started spinning I tried all the wheels on the market and felt most comfortable with the Louet. I still love it.

I agree though, that you really have to try all the wheels you can before you settle for any one wheel. I respect your thoughts on buying local. I am a huge fan of that. But you might just find that you love the way another wheel fits your body. So don't limit yourself until you find the one you really love.

My mother made me a homosexual.
And if you give her some yarn, she'll make you one too. ~quentin crisp


http://purlewe.typepad.com/
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sharianna
Chatty Knitter

USA
107 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2007 :  05:27:07 AM  Show Profile Send sharianna a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with what a number of the others have said. Do not allow the availability of local parts influence your decision. Try as many wheels as you can and buy the one you love. I started with an Ashford Traveller and then purchased a folding Lendrum. I was happy with my Ashford but I am in love with my Lendrum.

Parts are available in many places on line. My Lendrum hasn't given me a moment's grief. I purchased it used. It is now six years old as it is the anniversary model and still running like a charm.

Good luck and happy spinning. I love spinning carded fibers for knitting socks. I wear my colorful socks with Birkenstocks as they are known for their comfort and they even can correct foot problems. Plus they show off your handywork. Why Not! Do what you love and love doing it.

Shari from Colorado
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operakaz
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
409 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2007 :  03:26:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit operakaz's Homepage Send operakaz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a Louet Victoria (as my 2nd/travel) wheel and the 2nd thing I spun on it was laceweight:

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1620/1480464/10738540/248076171.jpg

Wasn't difficult or tiring to do so, either...just used the highest ratio.

Nancy
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fiberlicious
Permanent Resident

1637 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2007 :  07:59:28 AM  Show Profile Send fiberlicious a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Victoria is different from the rest of the Louets - it has Scotch tension instead of Irish tension, which makes it much easier to spin finer yarn.
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BlueShadow1
New Pal

14 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2007 :  3:44:10 PM  Show Profile Send BlueShadow1 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"I have no interest in any other wheel and honestly think collecting a whole raft of different wheels is sort of show-offy. (Lookit all my toys-kinda, sorta)"
I appreciate that you have your own opinion, but I disagree with you reason for owning more than one wheel. I have many different wheels, and most certainly did not collect them to be "show-offy." I collect them for many reasons, and each was able to teach me something new (for example, different tension styles (Scotch, Irish, double drive, etc.) spin in different ways.) Each of my wheels serve a different purpose. The really old one (over 200 years) connects me to history, and I love to sit and spin on it by the fire by lamplight to imagine what it might be like to have to spin all the thread for you family's clothing. The portable ones make it easy to travel with my handwork at a moment's notice. The little parlour wheel needed to be rescued, and its restoration was a great learning experience. There are many reasons to have more than one wheel...and I think you might enjoy learning to spin on another wheel should one happen to come your way!
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BlueShadow1
New Pal

14 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2007 :  3:45:50 PM  Show Profile Send BlueShadow1 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"I have no interest in any other wheel and honestly think collecting a whole raft of different wheels is sort of show-offy. (Lookit all my toys-kinda, sorta)"
I appreciate that you have your own opinion, but I disagree with you reason for owning more than one wheel. I have many different wheels, and do not have them all in order to be "show-offy." I collect them for many reasons, and each was able to teach me something new (for example, different tension styles (Scotch, Irish, double drive, etc.) spin in different ways.) Each of my wheels serve a different purpose. The really old one (over 200 years) connects me to history, and I love to sit and spin on it by the fire by lamplight to imagine what it might be like to have to spin all the thread for you family's clothing. The portable ones make it easy to travel with my handwork at a moment's notice. The little parlour wheel needed to be rescued, and its restoration was a great learning experience. There are many reasons besides "showing off" to have more than one wheel...I think you might enjoy learning to spin on another wheel should one happen to come your way!
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BlueShadow1
New Pal

14 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2007 :  3:50:36 PM  Show Profile Send BlueShadow1 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"I have no interest in any other wheel and honestly think collecting a whole raft of different wheels is sort of show-offy. (Lookit all my toys-kinda, sorta)"
I appreciate that you have your own opinion, but I disagree with you reason for owning more than one wheel. I have many different wheels, and do not have them all in order to be "show-offy." I collect them for many reasons, and each was able to teach me something new (for example, different tension styles (Scotch, Irish, double drive, etc.) spin in different ways.) Each of my wheels serve a different purpose. The really old one (over 200 years) connects me to history, and I love to sit and spin on it by the fire by lamplight to imagine what it might be like to have to spin all the thread for you family's clothing. The portable ones make it easy to travel with my handwork at a moment's notice. The little parlour wheel needed to be rescued, and its restoration was a great learning experience. There are many reasons besides "showing off" to have more than one wheel...I think you might enjoy learning to spin on another wheel should one happen to come your way (smile!)
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llinn
honorary angel

USA
1650 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2007 :  6:42:44 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wasn't intending it to be a blanket condemnation. which is why I said kinda, sorta.

But I have spun on other wheels at fiber meets and shows, and I can (am able) to spin on anything I've tried so far. I just don't like any castle style - they make be lean funny. I can't abide double treadles - I feel like I'm in a paddle boat. And I haven't noticed any appreciable difference in speed no matter what ratio I'm spinning at. I suppose if I were interested in spinning really fast and funky it would matter, but I'm not. If I were going to do anything I might get an electric spinner for plying. But that would be "cheating" in my mind.

No worries BlueShadow (neat handle by the way) I'm an crabby old bird. I suppose what offends me is the enormous amounts of money involved in collecting all these wheels (not that the builders are overpriced but just the amount involved) So many people can't afford to even work in the fiber arts because of the enormous costs compared to a week's groceries or gas, that when I see a bunch of women blissfully spending $750 for a new wheel (that looks almost exactly like the one they already have) it takes me aback. I grew up on a south Jersey dirt farm and wound up with a pretty Puritan slant to my soul.

Llinn
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jimbobspins
Gabber Extraordinaire

463 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2007 :  05:54:46 AM  Show Profile Send jimbobspins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by llinn

I suppose what offends me is the enormous amounts of money involved in collecting all these wheels (not that the builders are overpriced but just the amount involved) So many people can't afford to even work in the fiber arts because of the enormous costs compared to a week's groceries or gas, that when I see a bunch of women blissfully spending $750 for a new wheel (that looks almost exactly like the one they already have) it takes me aback. I grew up on a south Jersey dirt farm and wound up with a pretty Puritan slant to my soul.

Llinn



You can say this about anything. Bicycles, televisions, computers, fashion, well, you get the idea. You could have easily presented the argument for owning just one wheel or a simple wheel without taking a swipe at those that choose to own more than one. They're spinning wheels, not partners.

Offended by a bunch of women spending money on a new wheel? This is a spinning forum and the topic is spinning wheels. What would one expect?

How do second hand wheels get on the market? When people sell their older or extra wheels. And then someone who couldn't afford a new one gets to buy one. Wheelmakers couldn't make wheels if people didn't buy them.

Spinning and fiber operates on all different levels from the simplest spindle to the most complex wheel. From the plainest raw fleece to the most expensive hand dyed luxury fibers. The cost of entry to the fiber arts is way lower than it is for a lot of other hobbies.

I am a gearhead. I like equipment. I also am a guy. I am buying my third wheel this fall and quite frankly it's mostly because I like the design and the wheelmaker. Maybe I'll spin on it. ;-)

But I do agree on one point, from a spinning perspective (as opposed to collecting), additional wheels should compliment each other, not duplicate each other.
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Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1436 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2007 :  07:11:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry to disagree, llinn, but in my experience (which includes 39 years of horseback riding, including small competitions) spinning is an extremely low-cost hobby! For the price of a good leather saddle you can have your wheel custom-made and you don't need the horse and its upkeep! Three months pension for a horse in a city area will pay for a Schacht Matchless... It just boils down to people spending money on what they are passionate about - whether it's shoes, horses, exoctic pets (I'm willing to bet that aquariums aren't cheap either), game stations or spinning wheels.

And in my opinion, either two wheels or at the very least two flyers are very helpful (if not necessary): One for spinning thin high-twist yarns and one for bulky yarns and plying. How come you don't know a difference between spinning at 1:5 and 1:20? I find that very strange...

Klara

PS: I do live on a farm and for the bit of equipment I bought yesterday for my animals I'd have gotten another spinning wheel...

http://www.lahottee.info
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spindyerella
Seriously Hooked

601 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2007 :  07:28:49 AM  Show Profile Send spindyerella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by llinn



I suppose what offends me is the enormous amounts of money involved in collecting all these wheels (not that the builders are overpriced but just the amount involved) So many people can't afford to even work in the fiber arts because of the enormous costs compared to a week's groceries or gas, that when I see a bunch of women blissfully spending $750 for a new wheel (that looks almost exactly like the one they already have) it takes me aback.


I work hard and earn a good salary. I feel that I should be able to spend my money any way I want, even if that means collecting 1000 or more spinning wheels, knitting needles, balls of yarn, whatever my hobby may be. I am not responsible for taking care of anyone except myself and my family. Not that it's anyones business, but I do my fair share to help out those in need. That doesn't mean that I'm going to deprive myself of what I want or enjoy. I don't appreciate someone judging me or anyone else about the way I/we choose to spend our money and enjoy our lives.
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