Kromski Sonata Review
****WARNING**** Picture heavy post.
I have been asked to do a review of my Kromski Sonata wheel. Let me first say that it is my first wheel so I can't compare it to spinning on other wheels. I can say that I have heard good things from others about it that have tried other wheels. When I asked about which foldable wheel was the best I was guided toward the Sonata. So I thought that I would give it a try.
First let me talk and show you pictures of the carrying bag.
As far as I know it only comes in the green color and this is the bag that is sold for the wheel from Kromski. Honestly I really don't care what color it comes in as long as it protects the wheel. It seems to have an ample amount of padding. It had a large zippered pouch on the front. (more on that later)
There is a nice carrying handle on the top of the bag. Then there is also an adjustable carrying strap on the back so you can sling it over your shoulder. I prefer the shoulder method.
Along with the wheel you get from left to right: Kromski patch, extra eyelet, alen wrench, orifice hook, wheel oil, 3 bobbins (one not shown since it is on the wheel at the moment) and 2 metal rods for the built in lazy kate. And yep it will all fit inside that pouch.
Let's take a little peak in the bag for a moment. Lookie what I found..... That is a little pocket for the orifice hook so you don't have to rat around looking for it. How cool is that?!
Here we have all the stuff I listed above (missing 3rd bobbin, but I promise it does fit and there is still room for more plus some graphite lubricant (more on that later).
Next we will look inside the bag where the wheel is actually stored. Can you believe that it actually folds up that small? The zippers go almost all the way to the bottom of the bag.
These are the 2 blocks that help hold the wheel stable. They are about an inch or so thick.
Before I get into the wheel portion I will tell you a little about what the instructions say. There are 3 hinges on the wheel. 2 for the treadles and in the back where it folds. The instructions say to use either candle wax or a graphite lubricant for them. Not having the graphite on hand I thought that the logical answer would be the candle wax. I had a problem with the treadle hinges squeaking. It drove me crazy and no matter how much wax I put on them it didn't help. Finally we found a graphite lubricant. It is called Lock Ease. Kevin found it at the local car parts store. It is wonderful! A little messy, but still wonderful. I have applied it once and no more squeaking. So now I carry it in the ample pocket for those just in case situations. I would recommend getting some to keep with you.
Now the wheel is out of the bag, but still in it's folded position. You don't have to worry about it unfolding until you want it to. There is a screw that holds it together. What to you think is in the mystery black package?
Here it is with out the mystery black package.
This is it on it's padded feet on the floor. The screw knob that keeps it together screws into the wheel then into a hole in the frame. The screw know is on the right in the picture.
After unscrewing the know that holds it together folded you take the screw knob and put it into the back to hold the wheel upright. The knob is about an inch from the floor.
Here is a closer view of the mystery package. By now you probably have guessed that there is a pretty important part that is missing.
Tada it is the flyer and all the components. So it has it's own protection cover that is padded as well. You just slip the metal rod into the hole at the top of the wheel, line it up, tighten the screw knob that is for it and you are almost there.
Here it is almost completely put together. Just needs the drive band and the lazy kate.
Here it is all put together.
I love spinning on it. It is a full size wheel that folds into a compact package.
The double treadle seems to help me. I did try and spin a single treadle once upon a time and just couldn't get the hang of it. It took me a few hours to get into a rhythm and once I got it, it clicked and I haven't looked back since.
There is a dead spot though. If I stop spinning and hit the dead spot I have to give the wheel a bit of a push to get it going. It doesn't bother me and I have been told that every wheel has some sort of dead spot.
Once everything was thoroughly lubricated it spun so smoothly. It comes with instructions on every little place to oil and if you should or should not use the wheel oil on each spot.
I just recently changed to another bobbin. I had been using the same bobbin then plying it then skeining it. I decided to change bobbins and the new bobbin seemed to be a bit sticky and dragging. I had the same problem with the first bobbin, but after spinning on it for a while it worked it out and was fine. I am guessing that the 3rd bobbin will do the same when I use it.
It has 3 different ratios and I have been told that you can get a different flyer and bobbins to give you even more range. So far I am happy with what it has come with.
The bobbins are large so you can hold a good amount of singles on it. I like not having to stop and change bobbins all the time. And of course you can put as little on it as you would like.
I really feel that it is a good quality wheel for the money. It is on the lower side of the price scale and I don't feel that I bought a cheap wheel. It sets up quickly once you do it a few times. I don't regret getting the Sonata one bit. I am completely happy with my purchase and love it. I pretty much take it every where I go. ;)
For a comparison here is a link to compare some of the folding wheels. Click HERE for the list.
I hope that this will help anyone if they are contemplating getting the Sonata. If you have any questions that I didn't cover please let me know and I will do my best to answer it.
Closer view of the current spinning. This is 100% merino. =)