Thursday, December 21, 2006

Second Try

First let me say I bought my wheel from Joybilee Farms. I was able to get an amazing buy on the Ashford Joy that I just couldn't pass up. Chris and Robin have been wonderful to deal with and I want to thank them for all their help. They had to deal with a newbie who was overly excited and that can be challenging at times. What you see on the left are the rovings that Chris sent with the Joy. I love the colourways. The small one is silk, can you believe it? Chris had mentioned she thought, because of my spindle spinning experience, it would take me about an hour to "get acquainted" with Joy and then I would be off to the races. I was a little upset with myself last night because I didn't "get" it. I was VERY tired and I think that must have been most of the problem.

This morning I was a little hesitant to take Joy out but I did anyway. I'm glad I did. This is what I managed to spin. I had a problem in the beginning. The yarn is WAY overspun. I think I was holding on to the fibre supply too tightly and that's what caused the overspin. You can see the spots on the bobbin where the yarn curled back on itself. The yarn wasn't getting sucked in as it twisted. I changed the ratio the belt drive was on and then I was fine. I know that I have a long way to go. Most of the time when I try to treadle it wants to go counter-clockwise and I have to start the wheel going clockwise so my feet get it right but it is a breeze to treadle. The wheel is virtually silent. You can spin and watch tv if you wanted. I just love this wheel and that's after just a short while using it. I imagine we are going to have tons of fun together.

I don't understand what the different ratios are. I know the higher the ratio the finer the yarn. What I don't understand is what happens with the wheel when you change ratios. Does it change how fast the fibre is fed onto the wheel? I also have to figure out where it's best to start the spinning. By that I mean which hook and how often do you move it to a different hook on the flywheel? That will all become irrelevant once I get my woolee winder but I don't have it yet and I haven't ordered it yet so it will be about a month before I have one. Now I just have to find out if there is a place in Canada I can get one.


  • At 10:46 a.m., Blogger Theresa said…

    Thanks for the beautiful sock pattern!

  • At 11:44 a.m., Blogger Click-Clack said…

    The ratio describes how many times the whorl with turn with each revolution of the wheel, putting a specific amount of twist into each inch of drafted fibre. If I understand things correctly, a ratio of 10:1 means that for each turn of the wheel, the whorl will turn 10 times, and if you draft an inch at a time, you get 10 twists per inch. Very much like changing speeds on a bicycle. Go here:

    Here's something about controlling the bobbin speed to help with over/under twist:

  • At 12:44 p.m., Blogger Stasia said…

    Hi, if your yarn isn't winding on enough, try doing this: put your wheel on the slowest ratio. Then, treadle slowly to get the feel of it. Now, adjust your brake band (which goes over your bobbin) ONLY - don't make ratio changes until you get the hang of it. Adjust that brake band/bobbin tension slowly, a tiny bit at a time, until your yarn is winding onto the bobbin in a comfortable way - without being tugged out of your hands and breaking your yarn before it is spun, but fast enough that you're not ending up with overtwisted yarn outside the orifice and not winding on at all.

    Work just on that ratio for a couple of days, learning to make good, basic yarn that way, before you try the different ratios.

    It seems to me your troubles are happening because of brake band tensioning not being quite right for you yet, rather than your ratios.

    Once you get used to spinning on the slow ratio, THEN go on to try the others, and you'll have learned how to adjust brake band tension accordingly!

    Also, note that the brake band tension will have to change as your bobbin fills.

    When choosing what hook to use, try not to make "mountains" - try to change hooks frequently, AND, so you don't lose an end, go from across the bobbin from one hook to a far hook, in a zig-zag fashion, to that if you have to unwind back for a lost end, you won't be digging too deep before you come to a zig-zag "lifeline".

    Finally, I find it helpful to run the yarn through all the hooks up to the one I'm using with Ashfords - not just out the orifice and onto one single hook. Line it up against the whole arm of the flyer until you get to the hook you want. GOOD LUCK.

  • At 2:39 p.m., Blogger Elysbeth said…

    A Woolee Winder?!? Drool, Drool. I was taught that you change hooks with each join, because the join lengths tend to be about the same length, and it makes it easy to remember to move it. However, I also see you got some great answers from Spindlers, thanks for posting the questions, we all learn : )


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