Sunday, September 1, 2019

New Toys

Last December I saw a post on my Ravelry group "Warped Weavers" about a new miniature electric spinning wheel that was part of a kick starter program.  Curiosity took me to the link dreamingrobots.com  and I watched a short video on the little purple wheel featuring its designer Maurice.

Most e-spinners are quite spendy and beyond my reach. Okay, if I could try one and then decide it might not be!  Motivation is everything isn't it?

As word of mouth spread, they quickly had their four thousand units, then five thousand units all on preorder.   As more were ordered, then more do-dads could be added based on the monies being raised.

A basic electric eel wheel came with three bobbins and a choice of purple, or black and cream. I ordered the purple "deluxe" which meant it came with 7 bobbins, orifice hook, orifice reducer, USB cord, and wall plug.

Roll the clock ahead to last week, and it finally arrived! I had been watching many others receiving their units and posting them to the Facebook group or the Electric Eel Nano group at Ravelry.  Lots of videos posted, hints and tips  and yes, some complaints, but many very happy people too.


So here's my new gadget.... and it worked right out of the box.  Speaking of the box: I must say this is my one pet peeve as it came damaged.  It is far too light a grade of cardboard for sending a delicate little wheel like this through the postal service, with just a small sheet of bubble wrap around it.  Ultimately, all was okay but here's the box before opening:



Some parts were loose, some were in a small plastic bag and thankfully all were present and unbroken. 


This e-spinner is very small and light. It can be used with a cord plugged into the wall, or a USB cord to your computer or phone.  I bought one of the recommended power packs on Amazon:

TalentCell Rechargeable 12V 3000mAh Lithium ion Battery Pack for LED Strip, CCTV Camera and More, DC 12V/5V USB Dual Output External Battery Power Bank with Charger, Black

You can see it in the photo above and its about the size of a pack of playing cards.  I'm totally free now to spin wherever  and the power pack lasts for hours and hours. Incidently, it can be used to recharge your phone, Kindle, or be a back up power for your computer.  Hub like the fact it can power his telescope and might borrow it. It takes 6 hours to get a full recharge, so basically overnight.

If you buy an Electric Eel Wheel  yourself and want to use an external power pack, be sure to read their recommendations as its possible to burn the motor out if you use the wrong device.  (Yes, they sell new replacement motors).

I plan to either get some rubber suction cup feet for the wheel or have it mounted on a wood base, or ?   Right now I use a corner of the power pack against the back corner to weigh it down. Tensioning is done with a stretchy elastic cord and I must say it works fine, but I have seen some wheels with home made scotch tensions after they have found parts at the local hardware store to make one.   Non skid matting or kitchen silicone hot pads are popular underneath as well.

There are two very small magnets set into the shell and they hold the little orifice hook in place so it doesn't disappear. I lift one end of the hook and tuck my end of the fleece / yarn under the hook to hold it.  Nifty!

So if this is a portable wheel and its meant to travel, then it better have a case. I have seen makeup bags, travel cases,  and even old 1950's style overnight bags used.  One thing they all had in common was they were either hard shell case or well padded so to protect the wheel against bumps.    So I went looking around at various on-line retailers and finally settled on this and its being made up for me:


It will hold the wheel, spare parts and bobbins, and lots of fibre to spin.   As for spinning: what you see on the bobbin currently is a fine silk merino blend by Louet.  I think this wheel would be ideal for spinning uber fine silk and other fine exotic blends. 

Oh..... I am weaving still. Its not all about the new toy in the house!    

The weather here has taken a decided cooler note at nights and there are a few leaves turning on the chestnut tree already so autumn is here.  I'll close for now with a picture or three of our summer baskets.






1 comment:

Marianne said...

I agree with your peeve about flimsy packaging. 2 weeks ago I received my warping square from the US, and also had a flimsy box, and the ziplock bag inside with the screws etc was not zipped, so I had to dig through all the packing peanuts to find all the screws. Not fun.
Love the look of your wheel, may have to have a look at it. I do have a Hansencraft mini spinner, but it being wood, it is not light weight, though I can get a battery pack for it. So if I want a wheel to take when flying, I might want something lighter in weight.