Happy New Year!
Isn't this a thing of beauty? (click to enlarge)
|AVL electric bobbin winder, with optional tensioner|
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:
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...