Wheel Review: Majacraft Rose

I got a new Lazy Lady wheel for spinning on the couch. Want to see?

 

The Facts:

-Scotch tension
-double treadle
-two whorls with ratios of 4.25, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13.25, 16.5 and 19.5 to 1
-comes standard with two flyers, a regular one with delta orifice and a fine spinning one with regular round orifice
-both flyers have a sliding ring yarn guides instead of hooks
-comes with 4 plastic bobbins and bobbin box/lazy kate (not tensioned)
-head can be adjusted for height and to put the orifice on either right or left side
-retails for $655-please note that this was an August 2007 price-at The Woolery and up.

Info and My Opinion:

My wheel came straight from Majacraft in New Zealand by airmail and arrived in about a week. It was well-packed in a cardboard box with lots of foam board and New Zealand newspapers. Assembly instructions are easy to follow.

This wheel is suited to spinning most any kind of yarn right out of the box, but if you like to spin gigantic yarn or very fine yarn, you can get any number of attachments to get you there. There’s a high speed whorl that will get you ratios of 14, 16.5, 21 and 28 to 1 for around $21 and a wild flyer with very large orifice and ring. A plying flyer/bobbin set is also available and it’s a big one. A separate fast head is available that gets you ratios of up to (an inadvisable) 46:1. A lace kit is also available, which includes fat core bobbins and lace flyer There’s one brilliant thing I noticed straight away- the way the head is built, you can use any flyer or bobbin with any whorl. This is not the case with many wheels, where the size of your flyer and/or bobbin narrows your available ratios. Here’s a list of all accessories available.

The wheel, bar the drive wheel, which is MDF, is beautifully made from wonderfully patterned Rimu wood, which is native to New Zealand. Though it’s classed as a hardwood, it’s not the hardest wood I’ve met, so care should be taken not to bang the wheel around a lot. The finish is gorgeous, however, and the care instructions state that any ding can be disguised with a drop of furniture oil or polish. All movement, including treadling, is smooth, easy, and silent. There’s a slight whir from the bobbin, but that is it. The bearings are the sturdiest I’ve seen, and they’re sealed, so no need for oiling. The flyer can take a dab of Vaseline every now and then to ensure smooth turning of the bobbin. That’s it!

The wheel is quite heavy and stays right where I put it with no shimmy, shake, or wobble. It stands very firmly on four rubber feet. Everything feels very sturdy and well-made. With the loosening of a knob, the wheel fold at the center so that the flyer moves down near the treadles and a handle pops up for carrying. Very handy!

Bobbins hold approx. 6 oz. and are plastic and boilable, meaning you can set the twist in cotton or put it straight into a dyebath. I was a little put off by the appearance of the bobbins, but they’re made and work well and are inexpensive (it didn’t give me a heart attack to purchase 8 of them), so I’m pleased. Majacraft makes wooden bobbins, as well, if it’s a concern.

Both whorls have a range of ratios from high to low. One was designed to go with each flyer, but either will work with either flyer. The whorl is attached to the flyer rod behind the head with a screw and Allen key. The flyer is un-screwed from the flyer rod at the front for bobbin removal. The flyer rod stays in place at all times.

I’d sworn off Scotch tension and still bought this wheel, so that should give some indication of how much I liked it when I tried it. The tensioning system on this is a little different than any Scotch tension I’ve used before (Ashford, mostly). You can see in the photo above that the string is crossed. This results in the tensioning spring producing the same drag at all times. You never see the spring stretch or bounce. There is no jerking to the tension at all. It’s also easyand smooth to adjust with a lovely big wooden knob. If all Scotch tension felt like this, I’d have been more open to the wheel a long time ago.

Spinning is smooth and nearly silent at all speeds. The drive band is stretchy and a little rough, so it grips everything well.

The bobbin box/lazy kate holds 3 bobbins. It’s not tensioned, so I might replace it at some point with one of Majacraft’s tensioned models.

All in all, this is a great wheel for any spinning I can imagine doing. Even though it folds, I would not consider this a great travel wheel due to its weight (15+ lbs., according to my bathroom scale) and size. It can certainly travel in a car, however. This wheel is pretty much as good as it gets. I can’t imagine it limiting me in any way.

All that and it’s super comfy for spinning on the couch. :)

Any questions? Ask away.

35 Responses to “Wheel Review: Majacraft Rose”

  1. Lindsey

    I’ve been looking at getting a wheel for some time now and I want something that will be able to do just about anything. I’ve never owned a wheel before and this weekend will be the first time that I will be able to try some out. I have been looking at this one for quite some time, though. It’s a beautiful wheel and would do just about anything I would want to try.

    I’m a farily new spinner, though, and my question is: would this be a good wheel for a beginner? I know the basics about spinning and have used a drop spindle plenty of times, just not a wheel.

  2. nishanna

    that is a beautiful wheel. I actually thought of you last week, wondering when you got your wheel. What do you think of that delta orifice? In my experience, you really gotta be sitting at an appropriate height or else. I can’t wait to see some of your spinning. (ps, when do you think your next shipment is going out? I’m fresh outta inspiration and i don’t feel like pulling out the dyes)

  3. michelle

    So you like your new wheel :) she is beautiful. I really want to try one of these now (I’ve been considering a second wheel). If you have never used scotch tension before is it a hard learning curve? I have a Louet now.

  4. Pam

    I have the Rose, too. My first wheel was the original Schacht Matchless, back when it was only a single treadle. When it came time to buy a new one, I did a lot of research and found that the Rose is designed to spin very fine yarn (which is what I spin). The Schacht never had superior control; the wheel always moved down a little bit when I stopped. Not so with the Rose. I agree with you – it’s the best wheel I’ve ever seen for the money. It stops on a dime and stays put. I just love mine. I also got the tensioned Kate and if you’re really into plying, it’s well worth the money. Besides that, it’s as beautiful as the wheel. I just got a Woolee Winder for it and if you get the chance, get one. It makes the spinning experience that much more pleasant. I love the Rimu patterning, too – it’s such a beautiful wood. I think that, for me, this is by far the best choice. I’ve never spun on a Golding, but I also don’t care to spend $5K on a wheel, no matter how gorgeous it is.

  5. filambulle

    No questions, but a big smile: we are now “cousin by the wheel”, as I own (and love very much) a Suzie. Amazing instrument!

  6. NJStacie

    Thanks for the fabulous review! It’s nice to read a more human review than JUST the numbers. I’m envious of the fine spinning abilities! And of course, of how lovely the wheel itself is. Can’t wait to see what comes off of the bobbins!

  7. pumpkinmama

    Thanks for the detailed review….as you know from the Ravelry board, I’m almost ready for my next wheel, and after spinning on a Rose, am flummoxed about my decision between that and the Matchless now.

  8. elizabeth

    You can make the lazy kate that came with the wheel tensioned. Tie the carrying strap onto the holes like they instruct you, and when you’re ready to ply, drape the carrying strap across the top of your bobbins and hold it in place with clothespins attached to each side. I do it all the time; it works great!

    Glad you’re enjoying your Rose! Mine is my first wheel and I really can’t imagine getting another. Anytime soon. ;o)

  9. elizabeth

    I think my post got ate, which stinks, but what I said was: you can make a tensioned lazy kate out of the one that came with your wheel by draping the carrying strap across the top of the bobbins and then clipping the strap to each side of the box with clothespins. I do it all the time for making chained singles, 2 and 3 ply, and it works great!

  10. Mary-Heather

    Oooh, pretty pretty. My friend Julia has a Rose, and they are so beautiful in person – she loves hers, too. Also, I’ve seen several people spin on hers, and though I know *nothing* about wheel spinning, it was interesting to see how differently people spun on the wheel; it obviously isn’t limited to one “style” or speed. Between your comments and hers, this is definitely on my must-try list!!!

  11. Jen da Purse Ho

    this is a beautiful wheel! i’ve been lusting after the Majacraft Gem for about a year and I haven’t bitten the bullet to buy one yet. thanks for the detailed review. :)

  12. Therese

    I thought I posted a comment, but it’s not here. Anyway, to get rid of the slight whir on the bobbin, scrape the inside of it with a sharp knife and it will loosen out the bits left after unmolding.

  13. cedar

    Beatiful wheel, but I wondered why it is particularly a couch wheel, I have a double treadle louet and have been couch spinning all my spinning life…am I missing something even more comfy?

  14. liz

    It’s not a spinning wheel question(although it is gorgeous) but actually a drop spindle question – how easy is it to learn? Can you spin nice yarns with it. I’m really interested in spinning & definitely cannot afford a wheel! Plus, I’m sure that a spindle is the way to start. Any suggestions?

  15. alex

    Liz-I got one of the Hello Yarn spindle kits and once you get the hang out it’s easy! Keep practicing and the yarn only gets better looking. There are some good books out there too that have lots of pictures that help explain the process of drop spindling.

    Adrian-Your wheel is beautiful! I’m sooo jealous…

  16. jessie

    I have the Rose and I LOVE it. When I got ready to buy my first wheel, I was explaining to my husband that I was worried about spending so much on one and that I thought I’d be better off getting a “starter” wheel, which I could sell someday when I got better as a spinner and wanted to upgrade. He said I should just get the good wheel to start with.

    The thing is, I think this wheel made me a better spinner right from the get-go.

    I remember not liking the plastic bobbins at first but I’m over it now. The only problem I have is with the sliding hook; I find it hard to fill the back part of the bobbin without the hook hitting the body of the wheel. Do you turn the hook around or anything when you get to that end of the bobbin?

  17. Beth S.

    I was so sure you’d get a Lendrum, but I was wrong! ;-) Enjoy your Rose. I’ve never tried one myself, but I understand they are the top of the Majacraft line and universally loved by their owners.

  18. Sue

    Hi there. I am new to your blog. Your yarn and fiber are so beautiful. I agree with everything Jessie said. I got Rose for my first spinning wheel too. I learned to spin last fall and borrowed Ashford traditional from a friend. A few months later I was ready to purchase the wheel. I probably tried out at least 10 wheels that day. We (my husband and I) noticed Majacraft but didn’t eager to try it because I had never seen the delta orifice before. So while I tested spinning on different wheels, my husband checked out the Rose and told me to try it. I was nervous and thought that it was not going to work being a new 2-month old spinner. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to spin. It just keep going and going without any feeling that I had to fight with it like some other wheels. I was very surprise. Then I looked at the price and wasn’t sure that I wanted to spend that much. My husband told me that I was at ease the most when I spin on Rose, which was true. Anyway, we told the store that we would go for a coffee break. The thing is after I left the store, I felt for sure that Majacraft Rose was the right wheel for me. It spoke to me. Since then I spin on it almost every single night if I am home. Right now, I am saving up for Little Gem :)

  19. Julia

    Great, thorough review. I agree completely. I love my Rose and doubt that I could ever outgorw it!

  20. Mandalinn

    Great review, I am going to be purchasing the Rose shortly as my Lendrum ST isn’t my favorite. I need a double treadle badly to take the load off of my one leg.

    Thanks for the wonderful review.

  21. Nessa Z.

    Lovely little wheel and a very thorough review. In reply to “is there something more comfy than couch spinning?” – Yes, there is. I have a Womack Electric Spinner on the table next to my recliner. No need for any foot action here.

  22. Shannon

    Thank you so much for posting your review. I appreciate the fact that you address all of the facets of this wheel. I am getting ready to purchase my first wheel, and I am seriously considering the Rose.

  23. Kerry

    Thank you so much for the great review! A friend just got a Lendrum and I have been watching her spin with great interest. I ordered myself a Golding drop spindle and some fiber to teach myself on and, if all goes well, will start to save up for a wheel. I am pondering the Lendrum, Schacht Ladybug/Matchless and the Majacraft Rose, but don’t live near enough to a dealer to try any of them out (other than my friend’s Lendrum)… any thoughts? After your review, I am leaning toward the Rose.

  24. Lisa

    You mentioned it starts at 650.00 retail, is that for the Rose or other Majacraft models? I can only find her for 850.00 and up.

    Thanks, and great review!

  25. beingv

    In response to Lisa / Post #27: The price listed in this review is from 2007, but you can find the wheel now at Woolly Designs (US dealer) for about $600 since they offer their Majacraft wheels at the rate of exchange plus a nominal profit added. Shipping is free. I’m ordering my Rose next week! Woot.

    Great review! Gorgeous pictures!

  26. Julia M. Brown

    I have Majacraft Rose. I bought it from a friend who needed money to move. I have spun sucessfully with it Oct-Dec 15, 2009. The drive band keeps slipping off the whorl. How do I change the drive band? I haven’t found an answer yet.

  27. Lindsay

    Send the question to the folks at Majacraft on this page http://www.majacraft.co.nz/news_info/contact.php

    I’m sure they’ll be able to help you. For one thing, they have all the manuals online there, available for download. I’m sure the manual for the Rose explains about the drive band. Good luck!

    Thank you for this review! It helped me a great deal.

  28. Julia M. Brown

    I have a Majacraft Rose. Really enjoy it. I bought a ply kit and am having difficulity plying. Plying is hard and not as smooth as regular spinning. Since I bought this wheel from a woman who needed money to move, I had no instruction on this topic of plying. Can you suggest a site to get the answers to my questikon or provide any answers. I have been trying to get onto the Yahoo groups for Majacraft and have been denied. Don’t know why, but there, I thought that I would be able to gather information from other Majacraft owners.

  29. shrinkgirl

    i completely agree. the rose is a fabulous wheel. i learned on this wheel and felt a great sense of loss when i returned her to her owner. now i have my own and continue to be very happy with it!

  30. Robin W

    I brought a Rose at Christmas, last year. I am having trouble starting off. I had a beginner wheel and was just about getting OK but apart from anything else, it is just the most beautiful looking wheel.

  31. Carmen Slee

    Can you comment on the difference between an Ashford Traveller and the Majacraft Rose. I am having difficulty deciding. Do I go with my head or my heart LOL I am learning on an old wheel style wheel at the moment, but I would like to purchase a good wheel to go on to that can handle a range of yarns. I saw a rose being used and was impressed with it’s speed, quietness and elegance. I can understand the comment from other people that the Rose ‘spoke’ to them!

  32. Carmen Slee

    Another question. BTW, Im starting to get better, Yah!! Question is: Can I spin reasonably bulky wool on my Rose. (When I get it that is!!) I have a small flock of sheep, and the idea of being able to shear my sheep, spin the raw wool, and create a farmer’s type jersey appeals to me. Can I do that on the basic Rose Spinning Wheel or would I need another attachment?

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