In Which I Sound Like The Kid In Close Encounters

You know the kid who runs around his house at night yelling “toys!” before he gets pulled through the dog flap and taken by the aliens?

This was me last weekend when a box of goodies arrived at home – as I unpacked everything I could be heard going, “oooooh, toys!” as I opened each item. There was lots:

In the box could be found a new lace flyer for my miniSpinner, plus three extra bobbins, both sizes of quill to be used for spinning yarn and other things… Spare orifice reducer and threader and spare brake and drive bands for the new flyer.

I wanted to give the lace flyer a go, because as much as I love my WW, when I want to spin very fine or with a minimal take-up, I struggle to get the tension as low as I'd like without removing it altogether. Plus as I move towards spinning thinner yarn, it makes sense to have the best tool for the job if I want to do so often.

Plus it's so cute and teeny compared to the WW:

The lace flyer only holds about 3 oz/85g compared to the huge 10 oz/250+g of the WW. But if you're spinning fine, that's still a heck of a lot of yardage. And since most lots of fibre on sale in the UK are 100g or 150g tops, half of it will still fit on a single bobbin.

I'd been waiting for this to crack on with my oldest spinning project which has been on the go for about 4 years now – some merino/silk I'm trying to spin into proper lace weight and has had bits and pieces of it done on several spindles and even my old wheel.

Four years. Bit embarrassing, isn't it? And in that time I hadn't even spun up half of the braid.

So I wound everything I had spun so far onto a fresh bobbin and finished the rest which took surprisingly little time. The flyer feels lovely to use – very light and soft. Having to move the sliding eye annoys me less than I thought it would after having been spoiled by the WW and I'm getting used to being able to wind on evenly.

Once I finished the first 50g it was a nice opportunity to use one of my new quills to rewind the bobbin. Why would you want to do such a thing?

  • Habit – I'm used to rewinding all of my singles from a spindle when I'm finished with a cop
  • Gives me the chance to remove any snarls or tangles or dodgy bits rather than having to deal with them while plying
  • Your plying bobbin should then move more freely as you ply from it
  • Alden Amos says you should πŸ™‚

So, how do we do this?

Take your 1/4″ quill and wrap some cling film or similar around the bottom 2/3rds so that it's a snugger fit for your cardboard bobbin. Insert quill into miniSpinner, slide on O-ring 1, slide on cardboard bobbin and then O-ring 2.

Put your full bobbin on your Lazy Kate, as far as possible from your spinner, turn spinner on and using your hand, guide yarn on to bobbin evenly.

Marvel at your handiwork!


These cardboard bobbins hold 4 oz apparently – the pink one at the top in the above picture is holding a full 100g, so I wouldn't want to try and squeeze too much more on it.

I'm already making good progress on bobbin 2 – I reckon it's over half filled – although I am getting a little obsessive about winding on evenly!

Can't wait to finally finish this project and move on to the next one. Of course now I wish I had 2 miniSpinners so each could be equipped with a different flyer πŸ™‚ Not that switching the brake band and drive band take more than a few minutes, but I'm so lazy!

If you're on the fence about ordering the lace flyer, buy it! I promise you'll love it. It's so good it manages to soothe the sting of the customs bill I got when it landed… Ouch!


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