My family loves me. They indulge me in my addiction to cool fiber gadgets!
Last week for my birthday my husband handed me a receipt. Today my present got here. It is a Woolee Winder for my Kromski Sonata. Wheeeee! I've been wanting one of these for several years now, but couldn't quite get myself to spend the money on it. But the guys heard me wisting after one once too often I guess, and now I get to play.
What is a Woolee Winder? It is a gadget for my spinning wheel. You can hear more about it here http://www.thewooleewinder.com/ , but basically it is a replacement flier and bobbin set, for winding on your finished yarn more smoothly. It is similar to how a fishing reel winds on line, with an eye guiding the yarn back and forth across the bobbin. Traditional flier heads rely on hooks to guide the yarn to the bobbin. When one spot starts to fill up, you need to stop and move the yarn to another hook. The Woolee Winder makes it so you don't have to stop and start nearly as often, which saves time. And in theory, with the yarn winding on more smoothly you can fit more yarn on each bobbin. Here, take a look:
On the left is the flier head that came with my wheel. You can see the hooks, and the yarn built up in bumps where each hook guided it onto the bobbin. On the right is the Woolee Winder. The yarn guide slides up and back along the arm, guiding the yarn onto the bobbin in a smooth even fill.
Here's a closer look at the Woolee Winder. You can see the gears there at the base which make the magic happen.
I just started to fiddle with it a bit before we all went out to sushi to celebrate my son's 15th birthday. (No Woolee Winder for him. He got the new Kingdom Hearts game and strategy guide.) It has a slightly different feel to the spinning than the original head did. Even on the lightest tension, it still feels like the Winder wants to grab the yarn out of my hands. And the gears don't want to let me pull yarn back out easily--I have to move the bobbin with my hand to get it to easily back up. I like pulling out yarn every now and again to check how tight the spin is, so I'll have to get used to the extra move for that.
That said...after I fiddled with it a bit to learn the new feel, I was able to get a nice even spin. And I could just keep going and going and going until I ran out of fiber. This is going to be wonderful for production spinning! I'm tempted to make an order at the Sheep Shed Studio for another batch of Brown Sheep mill end rovings. (http://www.thesheepshedstudio.com/Roving.html) Hmm...I wonder what colors they have in stock...