I’ve always loved the style of Saxony wheels, which is why I was drawn to the Traditional for my first wheel. From what I can tell based on her spokes and other design features, she’s only a few years younger than I am, probably from the mid-1980s. Here she is the day I brought her home:

Ashford Traditional

Kromski Symphony

This is the Kromski Symphony (picture from New Voyager, shown in mahogany finish). I am pretty sure it’s going to be my next wheel, in the walnut finish to match my Sonata. The biggest hurdle between me and the Symphony is convincing myself to spend the money – but I can defray a chunk of the cost by selling the Traditional. I’ll be sad to see her go as she was a birthday-present and I have the happy memories of learning to spin on a wheel with her, but I don’t spin on her enough anymore and I feel bad about that. She should go help someone else learn to spin, rather than sitting around collecting dust and being decorative in my house.

While they’re different styles, the Traditional and the Sonata are similar in many ways. Their drive wheels are close in size; they’re both single-drive scotch tension wheels. The Symphony is double-drive (but can run single-drive with scotch tension) with a 24 inch wheel, so it would give me more variety. It’s also double-treadle, which I’ve found I like better than single. As a bonus, it can share bobbins with the Sonata! The Ashford bobbins seem very small, and the Kromski bobbins are larger than most others. I’ve easily fit four ounces of laceweight singles onto one bobbin, and there’s no way I could have done that with the Ashfords.

The second-biggest hurdle between me and the Symphony is that I’ve never tried spinning on one. I called around and the nearest one that I could try is at the Mannings, which is a two hour drive from here with nothing very interesting in between. I already drive about four hundred miles a week, and the idea of spending half a Saturday driving isn’t too appealing. So I’m considering buying one without giving it a test spin. On the other hand, I do have the Sonata, so at least I have some Kromski experience. On the other other hand, I don’t have any double-drive experience. But how hard could it be?

Cons: Spending money on myself is hard, haven’t tried a Symphony yet.

Pros: Gorgeous, double-treadle, double-drive, Saxony, big drive wheel, matches my other wheel and shares bobbins, comes with $50 gift card for future purchases, currently on sale.

I seem to go through this type of wembling every time it comes to spending a big chunk of money on myself. Agonizing over the decision gives me a little reassurance that I won’t have any buyer’s remorse and helps me feel like I’m not making a snap decision. Even though I know what’s going to happen eventually, I almost feel like I have to go through the process before I can accept it.

(How do I know what’s going to happen eventually? I’m already thinking about names for the new wheel…)

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