Monday, 30 March 2015

Padding Bobbins

Hills, valleys and loose tension on unpadded bobbin
A few people I know who spin fine yarns, and some flax spinners use padded bobbins.  In The Spinner's Book of Yarn Designs, Sarah Anderson says it is to reduce draw in or bobbin pull, making it easier to spin a fine, even yarn.   I don't really have an issue with draw in.  I spin on all of my wheels with the least amount of brake and band tension that I need for a particular purpose.  To spin fine, I can set them up with minimal draw in.  What I didn't like though,was the way the fine hemp or linen yarns would wind on the skinny bobbin core.  It would bunch up in narrow bands and as I spun more, the tension of the thread would loosen in places as it wound on.   This would sometimes create a bit of a mess when winding off the bobbin, plying etc and if my thread broke,it could bury itself in the loose bits, sometimes creating a bit of a nightmare when retrieving it.

 Sooooo... last time I went to town, I stopped in at the hardware store and picked up a length of grey pipe insulation.   We only had a used bit at home,which I could have used, but it was ancient, compacted and dirty.  I spent .79c plus tax on a brand new piece, dedicated to my bobbins.   I worried about the threads on the end bits, sliding between the padding and the wooden bobbin ends so I cut the pipe insulation, just a tad longer than the bobbin core and squished it on, so there was no space possible.   This stuff cuts easily with kiddy scissors!
It worked a treat!   The dark line is a small gap in the foam.  One size was a bit large and this was a bit small.  The tiny gap doesn't seem to cause a problem and it nicely allowed the blue leader thread to feed up, without having to remove and retie it.  This means if I want to use an unaltered bobbin, I just have to slip off the centre core.   The downside of this of course, is that the bobbin doesn't hold as much.   Not sure a big issue with fine threads though as you can get a lot of yardage on even the partial bobbin.

This sign is on our only bathing facility right now.   My sweet pulled off all the not so old, but peeling caulking and re-applied it, with a different brand, in hopes that it would be more durable.  To make sure it dried completely, he declared the 3 hour cure time as stated on the tube of silicone would be upped to 24 hrs, just to be sure.    I'm counting down the hours.


Woolly Bits said...

as a beginner I used to zig-zag the yarn across to reduce take-up for short fibres (cashmere, cotton etc.) but now I can do without. I do put up that cover though if I want to spin flax - because I worry that the damp thread might damage the bobbin! I also used that when I spun paper (damp as well), just in case...

Leigh said...

What a clever idea with the pipe insulation! Thanks for passing that on. And I hope shower is functioning perfectly now. Touch to live without!