Want to spin your own yarn? Take a look at the Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel in this beginner spinner’s review.
I have fallen deep down the fiber rabbit hole. It all started innocently enough. After watching my friend Claire perform fiber wizardry every day at work I learned to knit. I started knitting with an old pair of Boyle straight knitting needles and some Red Heart yarn, and now I have my own crafting blog!
With fiber arts, one thing leads to another. After years of knitting, growing my yarn stash, and project bag collection I started to get more and more interested in spinning. On the fiber art continuum, spinning your own yarn is about one step above owning your own sheep. While I don’t have the room (yet) for a pasture, I did find a corner of my craft room to put my own spinning wheel.
When I first tried to learn to spin I impulsively ordered a drop spindle, but to this day I have not mastered using one.
I was across the country visiting my good friend Claire when I saw her spinning wheel. Yes, this is the same Claire who got me hooked on knitting in the first place. She also has a Ladybug that she let me play around on and get a feel for. As soon as I got my hands on it I knew I needed one of my own. I ordered my own before I even headed back home.
It has been about five years since I first got my hands on a Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel and I have learned a lot. I am still far from what anyone would call a spinning expert, but I got incredibly lucky when I picked this as my first wheel. Anything I have wanted to try to do I have been able to do with this wheel.
If you aren’t familiar with the parts of a spinning wheel, be sure to check out my previous post about spinning wheel basics.
Schacht Ladybug Design
The Ladybug is a castle-style spinning wheel with a unique design. I particularly like the bright red drive wheel which is something I haven’t seen on any other wheel.
It is a fairly lightweight wheel and there are carry handles worked into the front leg and rear legs so it is easy to move from one spinning location to another. This has been very convenient for me. I like to spin outside when the weather is nice, but I always make sure I bring my wheel back inside as soon as I am done spinning.
The fun thing about the ladybug wheel is each wheel comes with its own ladybug! The very first thing I did when I opened mine was to look for my ladybug. They are in a different place on each wheel. My ladybug is on the right leg, just behind the drive wheel.
Schacht Ladybug Features
The Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel is a very versatile wheel, even with its small size. I have been able to adjust it to my needs as I spin more and more yarn.
The Ladybug comes with three travel bobbins. These are lightweight and won’t break easily, which makes them perfect if you like to take your spinning wheel with you. There have been times when having a couple more bobbins would be useful, but it hasn’t been a huge hindrance to my spinning goals. The one thing I haven’t been able to try is a true 3-ply yarn. I would need at least 4 bobbins to easily do this.
The Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel is a double treadle wheel. This worked great for me as a baby spinner since the rhythm of the wheel is very similar to walking. I quickly found and was able to keep up a very steady rhythm without too much thought.
The Schacht Ladybug can be set up either with Scotch tension or with Double Drive tension. I have mostly spun with Scotch tension. The Ladybug is set up to make Scotch tension super easy to use and adjust when I am spinning.
Until very recently (and by recently I mean last week) I had never tried to spin using Double Drive tension. The Ladybug has two different drive bands. The poly drive band is used when spinning with Scotch Tension, but it also comes with a cotton drive band for spinning in Double Drive mode. Somehow, I still knew exactly where my spinning wheel manual and extra drive band for my wheel was a gave it a try. It was a bit fiddly to set up and required me to remember how to tie a square knot, but once I got spinning I really liked the feel of it. I definitely see some more Double Drive spinning in my future.
Whorls and Ratios
The Schacht Ladybug comes with two whorls giving four different ratios to cover all kinds of speeds for spinning. I like to spin a fine yarn, but I still will use a larger size whorl to have more control in how much twist I put into my yarn as I am spinning. Spinning is a very relaxing, meditative craft for me, so I’m not trying to spin as fast as possible. No matter what I am spinning I have found a whorl that works great for me.
There are quite a few optional accessories you can get for your Schacht Ladybug, depending on your spinning needs. There is a bulky flyer if you like to spin chunky yarn, or if you prefer to spin with high speed whorls, they have those as well. The only accessory that I have purchased is the Ladybug lazy kate.
The Schacht Ladybug can be equipped with an optional attached tensioned lazy kate. This does not come standard with this spinning wheel and must be purchased separately. I did go ahead and get one when I bought my wheel and I am so glad that I did!
Not only is it a convenient place to store my bobbins when I am not using them, it makes plying yarn so much easier.
The optional lazy kate comes with four posts to hold bobbins. You may notice I only have three of these on my wheel. This is because my two-year-old was playing with it, so I hid it from him, and now I can’t find it. I only have three bobbins for this wheel, so it hasn’t been a problem.
What I’ve been able to make with my Schacht Ladybug
Even though it doesn’t feel like I spend very much time spinning, when I take a look at the yarn I have made I am shocked by what my Ladybug and I have created. I’ve spun different kinds of wool, alpaca fleece, and silk blends. I even have a hand-knit sweater made entirely of handspun yarn! I have yet to try a fiber that my wheel can’t handle.
Would I buy a Ladybug again?
The short answer is yes, I love spinning on my ladybug.
It ended up being the perfect wheel for me to learn on and get very comfortable using. Someday I hope to get another spinning wheel and I will probably go for something quite a bit different (Kromski Polonaise, I’ve got my eye on you) because I have gained the skill and confidence to try something new. I would definitely encourage other entry-level spinners to give the Ladybug a try.
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Have you tried spinning on a Ladybug? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!