There's a lot of spinning wheels out there. I have owned several. I have been spinning since 2008. From coarse woolen yarns, now I lean to finer plyed and single yarns. It's true what they say, your spinning does become finer! I have owned at various times a Lendrum DT, Louet S10, Heavenly Handspinning's Bellus (the bike wheel!), Ashford Country Spinner 2, Schacht Ladybug, SpinOlution Mach II, and a SpinOlution Echo. The only two I still have? The Spinolution Echo, and my Schacht Ladybug. I could list why I sold the other wheels, that would be counter productive. Let's focus on the awesome!
I use my Ladybug for basic spinning, and my Echo for the big stuff. I can literally ply for days, I never have to worry about bobbin size. I never run out of space! Which is pretty major.
My criteria for a wheel is simple: it has to treadle like butter, and hold a lot of yarn.
I can afford the higher end wheels-but why spend the money. My thrifty sensibility attracted me to the Echo. The price is a real selling point, it also included the shipping! I had sold my Mach II previously, with the Over Sized Art Yarn flyer. It was a heavy wheel, harder to move about. It was used-and spun okay. I had 4 wheels at the time, and decided to unload them all except the Lendrum. Then my spinning mojo went! My Lendrum sat for 6 months gathering dust. It hurt my knees to treadle, I was restless. I essentially had outgrown it. So I sold it to a fan-who is thrilled with it. It was my first wheel, I'm happy it solved her spinning mojo problem!
Then I went without a wheel for awhile. Which was kind of weird, but with only 500 sq ft of living space at the time and a busy 7 year old-it was ok. Then I bought the Ladybug, and ran out of bobbin space immediately. I was in trouble! In a quandary, I wondered what I was going to do.
Spinolution! They're the only ones, besides Ashford, rocking the gigantic bobbins.
The Ashford Country Spinner tension was dreadful - it tugged no matter what. So I went full circle, and called Spinolution. I settled on the Echo - but dang it! No over sized flyer. Mike explained that the 32 oz setup would be top heavy. I sputtered a little, wondering what to do. I had $500 burning a hole in my pocket. Would I save up more money? Would I buy a Mach III? I couldn't wrap my head around it. I was raised shopping at thrift stores, flea markets, and the old barter system.
Mike said, well it just won't work. I said...well, can we make a half sized monster bobbin? It could be flatter, more compact. Like a pancake.
Guess what? Mike made it.
In two weeks I had my mini monster truck bobbin, the Pancake...the first of it's kind. A rad special 16 oz wonder of bobbin engineering. It was a prototype, and Mike bless his heart gave it to me for free! I was floored. What a guy. Talk about loyalty for life. So there I was with the big bobbin. What to do? I plyed enough yarn for a sweater-an entire sweater for my 8 year old. My spinning mojo was back! Happy dance.
I love my wheel. It's lightweight, it's built like a brick you know what. It treadles like butter. No knee pain! Tap tap tap, and you're spinning. Other wheels drag when you're bobbin is half full, not the Echo. I don't know what the magic is, it's a ratio of wonder.
No wheel compares to the Spinolution Echo. My daughter tipped it over,orifice hook side down, bam. On the floor, it didn't hurt it. The orifice hook was fine! Overall it's a great little wheel-it's basic but extremely versatile. I leave my Ladybug at home, and tote the Echo with me. A inexpensive little folding cart, and it's spinning group ready. It's a great wheel.
Spinolution is a company that listens, these days it's rare. Mike is a special guy, he truly made me an amazing flyer. He loved the challenge!
A few months after I got the 16 oz Bobbin I noticed my giant bulky yarn was popping off the flyer pegs. I called Mike-two weeks later, he sent me new flyer forks! With tall pegs. I was thrilled, no more runaway yarns. I am one happy spinner!
A special thanks to Sayra for taking pictures of her ECHO wheel for our website remodel and her generous donation of fiber batts for product photography and marketing. Many of the photos on our website and in our upcoming marketing campaigns feature her fiber!
You can visit her ETSY shop at http://atomicblue.etsy.com