My first (and only) wheel is the Kiwi. I’ve never used another wheel, so I can’t really compare, but I love it! It comes in pieces, so you have to put it together. I must say that of all the things I’ve assembled, this one was probably my favorite. Never have I worked with something where the holes lined up perfectly like this, good workmanship obviously. There are no words on the instructions, you just follow the pictures and all the different screws and things look different enough that this was all very easy. The only difficulty I had at all was with step 13, the fishing line on the tension knob. It is possible to do this exactly like the picture shows, but you have to notice two things:
1. There’s a tiny hole drilled through the tension knob, and your fishing line has to go through this.
2. You can’t just tie a regular old knot in fishing line, you have to do something more like what fisherman use. If you remember how your fishing line was wrapped around itself when you first took it out of the box, its something like that, just wrap the wire in and out several times through a loop. Here’s mine (that’s the end of the line sticking upward, I never bothered to cut that off).
The only other thing I was confused about when I first started using the Kiwi was the amount of squeaking I was getting with the treadling action. I’d oil it, then about 5 minutes later it was squeaking again. Was it my crooked house with its crooked floor, confounding this perfectly shaped assembly? Did I warp something when I was assembling the wheel? Nope. Maybe if I’d had a person teach me spinning instead of books and youtube, I would have known this, but anyway – the answer is to keep your feet not in the middle of the treadle pedals, but with your toes close to the footmen like in the photo above – no more squeaking.
Let me say again, its a great wheel! I love it, and thanks to it I’ve discovered I really love spinning and creating my own yarn! I had a spindle before this, but I never spun my yarn tight enough to get anything that looked professional, and it took a LONG time to spin. The wheel goes much faster, as you’d expect.