Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I have been spinning Anna Harvey's Rambouillet - it is beautiful fine white stuff. Unfortunately, I seem to have abused this part of this fleece, and it has some down in it that leaves slubs.  Ok, it looks like home spun, but once it is woven, milled, brushed and clipped, it will just be -  bright white, fine woolen cloth with a very soft nap.  And, I believe in judging the final object.

The drive bands on the wheel were old, and replacing both raised the rpm by 20% -- that is like working 5 days and getting paid for 6 days.  Nice!

This bunch of  rolags seems to want to hang together, so I have to pre-draft them.  Ultimately drafting is faster than take-up.  At flyer speeds of 3,000 rpm, take-up is something over 9 yards per minute.  If I draft a bit faster, a balloon forms around the flyer, and if it gets big enough it hits the MOA and tangles in the other flyer arm.  If the drafting is too slow, the yarn will break off. 

Using the Ott lamp as a strobe, I can see the balloon of yarn around the flyer and adjust my rate of drafting.  Between the balloon and yarn stretch, I can grab another rolag and continue spinning by just dropping rpm to 2,000 for a couple of seconds.

The woolen single is fairly bulky, so I spend a lot of time winding off.  I may need to rig a faster bobbin winder if the fresh singles will take the extra tension of  faster wind off.

Thus, I am embarrassed to admit that this morning's production of woolen 5,400 ypp singles is only just over 400 yards per hour.  I think that when I get past this bag of fleece, production speed will go back up.  On the other hand, it is kind of nice just lounging around at 9 yard per minute.

If Holin wants to tell you that her "slow spun" yarn weaves up into better cloth, then she should be ready to show you pix of cloth woven from her yarn.  The thing is, that unless one spins very fast, it is not cost effective to weave fine hand spun.  How much would enough yarn to weave a bolt of cloth from Holin's slow spun yarn cost?  Do you want to sink that much value into a bolt of woolen cloth?

Edited to add, the problem was in the vibration damper, and flyer speed is now back at 3,600 rpm allowing spinning at over 11 yards per minute.   Still that is another 20% gain in productivity. Now I can spin 4 days what it would have taken 6 days as the wheel was set up yesterday.  This is the advantage of taking the time to tune up the wheel.

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