Susan Litton's review of Schacht's latest spinning wheel 'The Sidekick':
'I have been spinning for twenty five years and for a long time have been a very happy owner of a Schacht Matchless wheel. This wheel does everything I could want from a spinning wheel, except that it is takes up the space of a person in the car. So, I have been very tempted by the idea of a Schacht wheel, with all their built in quality, that folds and is easy to carry and transport.
George Weil already has the new Schacht Sidekick wheel in stock, so I was able to 'test drive' it. It looked a little odd when I first met it with the Drive Wheel sideways on. Unfolded it spins just as you would expect from a Schacht wheel: with ease and comfort, exactly what you want. The first small question was where to put the threading hook whilst I was spinning, but I am sure that can be easily resolved with a bit of handspun yarn. The unusual sideways view of the wheel from the spinning position was not a problem, I starting it running by hand in the clockwise direction, but a beginner spinner may find it confusing at first to remember which way to turn for an S spin and which way for Z spin.
The wheel was already unfolded on first meeting , so I read the Schacht instructions and got some advice from the helpful staff there on folding and unfolding, that really is a better description than 'opening and closing' . It seemed very fiddly on that first attempt and I was a little disappointed with the number of bits to be screwed and unscrewed, unlatched, moved and tucked in on the fold and unfold. They do all fit together and there is a safe place for every part when carrying the wheel around with the built in strap.
Then, I undid the wheel again, spun a bit more and then folded it up on my own. I did that a couple more times, so that I could really understand the procedure and it did become quite routine, so it is now on my list for a birthday present - and I don't want to wait until Christmas!'
The nifty Schacht Sidekick Spinning wheel can be folded down to just 21 1/2" (approx 54.5 cm) high x 8 1/4" (approx 21 cm) wide x 15" (approx 38 cm) deep and weighs just 13 1bs (that's just under 6 kg!)
If you would like to know more about the specifications for this spinning wheel, please visit the Schacht Spindle website to watch videos about 'The Sidekick' online.