April 25, 2012

Expanding on an Idea

Or, "Why didn't I think of this sooner?"
Some posts ago, I mentioned receiving a Jennie Plyer, and talking about the "pod" that ships with it. The pod is intended for use as a bobbin winder, to transfer spun singles to mini bobbins for plying. In the first go round of using the pod, things went along pretty well, especially once I supported the free end of the bobbin. But a few days ago, when I tried again, nothing seemed to cooperate. The pod kept jumping out of the spinning wheel orifice, or the bobbin wouldn't hold fast to the pod and it seemed like I spent more time chasing pod and bobbin around the floor (with 'help' from the cat) than actually winding the bobbin. So I decided to test an idea.

Can I use the Pocket Wheel to wind mini bobbins?  I already knew the mini bobbins (Le Clerc shuttle bobbins, 4" in this case) would fit the flyer shaft of the Pocket Wheel. I took the flyer assembly off the flyer shaft and slipped the mini bobbin on. Then I pushed a piece of latex tubing over the shaft until it butted up against the bobbin. TaDa! Treadling equals bobbin rotation, and yarn winding. I used my hand to guide the yarn onto the bobbin evenly.
Now, that's more like it.

To be honest, it wasn't perfect. After a bit of winding, the latex tubing would wiggle away from the bobbin and then the bobbin would spin freely, not winding on the yarn. But I could just push it back into place. Later I tried a little rubber collet thingy that came with the Jennie Plyer pod, and that worked really well, but it was such a tight fit on the shaft that I was worried it wouldn't come off later. It did come off, but I'm considering trying other ideas that won't get stuck, and won't scar the flyer surface.

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