Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What a difference a groove makes,

Today, a short post because, Bear and I married 20 years ago today, and we've just got home from a family dinner at a local pizza cafe with the bear cubs and put them to bed, and well - there is goood, and I mean goooood bubbly to celebrate with, and I love you all but I've loved him longest. But first, in the last 2 days I learned an amazing new thing, and because its what I do, I'm sharing it with you. This thing make a kind of clunky spinning wheel sing, I thought it was a pretty amazing yet so simple a thing.

I bought a new 'old' book, for a few dollars on line ($NZ4), The New Zealand Woolcraft Book, Spinning, Dying, Weaving, by Constance Jackson and Judith Plowman. Sorry I can' find a good stable link, they are all for auction sites so you will have to search for it on your own. Well what a gem, the first two chapters are on spinning wheels, and on how to set one up and diagnose problems on double drive and scotch tension wheels. The Wing wheel I just bought was ok, but heavy going to treadle and I couldn't get the yarn to feed on nicely, it either didn't feed at all or feed onto the bobbin at high speed. When I bought it the previous owner said she used it mostly for plying and I can see now that would be the easiest way to use it. The Wing is a nice compact and pretty wheel.

Back to the book, I was reading away last night and on page 25 found
"On some spinning wheels, particularly antique wheels, the groove in the bobbin is not U-shaped, and consequently a bulky drive band with not allow the bobbin to slip. A finer drive band will be necessary."
Something twigged, the whorl grooves on the Wing wheel are clearly V shaped not U shaped, all those grooves are most clearly V's. Thats the Wing whorl groves in the first image, and yet the drive band in use on them was thicker than that I had on the Ashford.

Compare with the generous curves on the Ashford bobbin whorl, very U and not at all V. But the flyer whorls are both V's - now I get it, thats for grip. Inspired by my $4 book I replaced the thick string drive band with a thin crochet cotton one and wow, the Wing now sings, plus I now have the slippage needed to let the bobbin do its thing.

Here is a closer comparison of the two drive bands, you can see the almost 2mm thick Wing band compared to the replacement band, a mere 1mm. Who would have thought that 1mm extra width would have made such a difference to the performance?

And I have not started the shrug yet, I've been dutifully doing my spinning home-work and my cable swatch home-work. This is the start of my fourth sample, the 'cable suspended in the middle of a stocking stitch ground' one. But enough for now, those little bubbles are twinkling in the twilight, in a two tall sparkley glasses ...


KathyR said...

Congratulations! First, on your discovery and recovery of the key to the Wing's performance and second, on your 20th anniversary. May you enjoy many, many more together!

Knitting Linguist said...

Happy anniversary! Imagine me raising a glass in your honor; here's to many more wonderful years.

JustApril said...

I laughed heartily at your title! =) Who knew the groove thing? cool Oh yeah, happy anniversary, too, 20 years!

grannyg said...

Happy versary! We got married the same year! But mine didn't last 20years. So thats a good book then, I've seen it a lot on TM - must get it now.