I love to spin yarn. It is my favourite craft and I generally find it very relaxing. This year my husband got me this fabulous gift – a custom plate for my car.
Speaking of gifts… recently a friend offered me a tremendous gift of an autowind flyer from Level Wind Systems. What a generous gift! I got a flyer for my Majacraft Rose because that is my go to wheel.
I actually like my Majacraft Rose so much that I have 2 of them, one where I can use the regular and jumbo bobbins, and a second that has a massive Overdrive bobbin and flyer on it. The Overdrive wheel is great for plying and for spinning bulky yarns.
The autowind flyer has batteries inside the left flyer arm. When you switch the unit on, the yarn guide slowly moves up and down the right arm. This results in the yarn filling the bobbin much more evenly.
This is a photo of the same bobbin. You can see how the singles form a nice rotating layer on the bobbin.
I have spun a few skeins now and have discovered a few things. When I put the flyer on I need to tighten the flyer onto the mandrel of my Majacraft Rose. However, when I tightened the flyer enough so that it works properly, it was also impinging on the bobbin which made spinning not very nice. I had to really crank the brake and there was quite a bit of drag. To fix this I dug out some Plumbers tape (also called thread seal tape) and wrapped it on the flyer mandrel. Then I installed the flyer. The tape helps the flyer make a nice snug connection but also leaves the bobbin free to spin. This resulted in a much nicer spinning experience.
Another thing I discovered after using the thread seal tape was that my bobbin was sitting back past where the flyer could nicely wind on the singles. This resulted in an empty area at the rear of the bobbin. The singles were collapsing into the empty area which was not very tidy and could lead to tangles later when plying off the bobbin.
To fix this problem when I started spinning the next bobbin I added a simple felt washer behind the bobbin.
My current project is a pound of dyed fiber from Adele Forward, an Indie Dyer in Dorset, Ontario, Canada. Adele posts her dyed roving, locks and yarn on Facebook. Have a look if you are interested in buying some delicious dyed fiber.
This is my progress after spinning 3 bobbins of the same fibre. You can see bobbin #1 in the upper right (with the slightly empty section at the top/back of the bobbin), bobbin #2 in the upper left (which was spun with the felt washer) and bobbin #3 on the wheel (again spun with a felt washer in place).
Three bobbins spunI have now moved on to plying. Because I have 3 bobbins of singles plying is a multi-day job. It took me about 5 hours to fill the first jumbo bobbin with plied yarn. And here are the bobbins after plying up that first big bobbin. There is still lots of singles left to go into the second skein.
And here we are with the second bobbin done and all the yarn wound into skeins.
I have to say I love how quiet and helpful the autowind flyer is. It is a fabulous tool and I am very appreciative of this awesome gift.