Monday, January 3, 2011

Start your Engines!

Happy New Year!

Isn't this a thing of beauty? (click to enlarge)

AVL electric  bobbin winder, with optional tensioner

My 'Santa Daddy' really came through for me this year and ordered this Cadillac to replace my older electric winder!   It was a bit hard not having a box to open on Christmas ( we are all kids deep down  inside wanting a toy to play with!) It arrived on New Year's eve and came out of the box almost ready to go. Just one screw to place for the tensioner, and attach the plug and start winding!

My current winder is an old Leclerc model that came with my first used Colonial loom in 1995. I have no idea how old it was before that....  I had a new foot pedal controller added  and its been super reliable.  I use a lot of  fine yarns and I can't begin to tell you the times I have had what I call 'string burn'. I knew that adding  tension to the yarn as it winds on builds a tighter pirn or bobbin and it then rolls off smoother when you weave. Then in turn, that's helps you to weave better. Its all the little things that add up to a better weaving experience!

I checked out Leclerc's winder. It gets top marks from me for longevity! What's changed since 197?  The former owner started weaving in the mid to late 70's.  It seems quite a bit has changed! If you click here , on the main front page there is a display, plus video of the new winder operating. It is supported at both ends and they have a winding guide that you move back and forth to fill the bobbin or pirn. Okay, no real hands on the yarn now but I want to wind under tension.  There must be other winders out there?   I got busy on Google and Bing!

Schacht Spindle Co. makes a lovely winder where the bobbin is supported at both ends to prevent that annoying wobble you can get at high speeds.  Click the link to see their winder. No tensioning of the yarn though.

I found myself wishing that the  smoothly made Schacht model had the Leclerc thread guide system and then I could still hold the yarn as it fed on?  This would be the best of both  systems.  So what to do?   Go look some more....

I cruised around and finally came to AVL. Now their looms are amazing and there is no way I could afford one, or need one now for that matter, but among their accessories there are bobbin winders! Apparently my drooling and whimpering noises while browsing the AVL web page caught someones attention. ( That and the Christmas list of one item on the fridge) So what's better than a winder that has *everything* I'm looking for?  It was on SALE !

The yarn feeds in through the first hole and then you slip it through two tensioned discs, which are adjustable. These are much like the tensioned discs in the Schacht end delivery shuttle that you adjust with the little allen key. Then the yarn is fed through the other hole and then through the two pig tail guides to the fat end of the pirn. I do a wrap around the bobbin and twist the ends together *tightly* and then start winding. Later when you are weaving the end of the yarn just feeds off smoothly with no nasty tug to spoil your edges.  Once the pirn is started you place your hand on the knob to the right and move that back and forth to fill the pirn. No hands on the yarn, no 'string burn' and nicely tensioned yarn!   Yippee!

The cone is sitting on my warping centre:

So the yarn feeds off the top and up through the hole. Not ideal as there is one twist added to the yarn as each revolution unwinds. It would be better to be laying on its side and reeling straight off. (a spool rack would serve, but I sold mine as it took up too much space! You can only have so much crammed into one room!)  What are the green tags? Those are my reminders of the projects for each yardage pathway on the warping board. They are cut off only when each project is fully complete. You just never know!

The silver / black tencel is the next project to go on Lilibet and its for three scarves plus samples not just two scarves plus samples.  It occured to me that the warp seemed a tad bit long for just two and I had goofed! I'll blame that one on my back pain pills. Sadly, I'm still not weaving due to sciatica.

Now switching subjects entirely, but still weaving related, I have an announcement to make!  My daughter Carrie who knits like a fiend, dyes like a crazy woman and spins her wheel has now launched into the World of Weaving! Its taken more than a few years but the bait has finally landed a fish! Please follow her adventures with her new Schacht Flip rigid heddle loom at her blog. This is her first post and be warned that she's already added another update! If you have any first hand experience with RH weaving, please leave a comment to help. Its the one loom I haven't tried so I'm not much help!

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! She'll be weaving up a storm in no time...


Unknown said...

Boy it sure doesn't. I'm having a blast with my loom so far! Slow and steady. The fun part is now I can go back and be able to understand more about your blog posts. Thank-you for the link!

DebbieB said...

Hooray! My daughter just started weaving too - her Christmas present was a used Baby Wolf. Since she lives with me, it's Mom's spare loom as well. ;)

Bruce said...

I'm so glad your gift finally arrived! I was beginning to think that it would take me a full year to climb out of the hole I appeared to be in. Sorry about the delay...but it looks and runs like a real pro.


Theresa said...

What a wonderful gift. I love my electric bobbin winder and while it is two ended, it doesn't have feed guides.
Sorry to hear about the continuing back problems.
Get better soon, can't wait to see those scarves, but for now, off to the blog. :)

Loree Jackson said...

They need to rewrite that Christmas song..."Santa Baby, slip an AVL electric bobbin winder, with optional tensioner under the tree...for me"!

Lynnette said...

What a great pirn winder! It really looks wonderfully technical, and I know how you like to get right into things to understand them. I'm so glad that your anxiously awaited gift arrived!

Judy said...

Wow-that's what I'm talking about! What a nice pirn winder and kudos to your husband for getting you such a nice Christmas gift :-) That will be one well used gift!

Take care,

deborah said...

Although not posting I have reading everyones blogs. I have been heavily influenced by both you and Lynneyye. I have just bought a Louet Spring. Its wonderful. A big thank you for your clear and helpful posts.....I will continue to read all that you write!!

Sharon said...

It's too late now, but I have a grand solution to your "string burn". I bought a pigskin at Tandy some years back and cut a 2" square piece from it which I fold in half and put the weft yarn in the fold. I chose pigskin because it is lightweight, supple and tough. I have two layers of it to protect my finger and thumb as I tension the weft yarn as I fill pirns using my (Schacht) electric bobbin winder. When the yarn (fine linens and spun silks cut the most) cuts into the leather, I just re-fold it until it is cut too much. Then I cut a new piece. I have been working on this pigskin for far over ten years and have hardly made a dent in its total area.

Works for me!