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The Electric Spinner

Hand spinning is the art of twisting fiber, fleece, or roving of wool, silk, alpaca and other fibers into a continuous thread by using a spinning wheel or drop spindle.  The thread is spun thick or thin, plied or un-plied, and can later be dyed or left natural.  Hand spinning is most commonly done with a spinning wheel.  

For a cottage industry small business there is a faster option for spinning yarn; namely the electric spinner.  They are also commonly called production spinners.  We made our own electric spinner because we found the existing market for such spinners is very expensive, the equipment is either clunky or awkward looking, and we have developed a spinner that solves all these issues.  Our spinner utilizes existing Louet bobbins and flyer.  Upgrading to the WooLee Winder flyer increases the efficiency of the unit, from not needing to adjust the winding on the bobbin, which requires more stopping and restarting.  

Plying on our electric spinner

     Video of Mini Spinner Prototype doing plying: "Look Ma, no hands!"

Barbara has been hard at work spinning, and has a daily goal for yarn production.  The spinner has been performing well so far.  Barbara is using it for the majority of her handspun yarns (except when she is demonstrating spinning at the local farmers market) and it is definitely faster.  She loves the ability to spin with her feet up, and uses the foot pedal while lying on the couch spinning.  The DC motor gives her two hours on battery alone, but she does have it plugged in to the AC power most of the time.  We are looking at adding an external battery add-on, where when the primary battery is exhausted you could continue spinning on battery. The major obstacle we are still trying to overcome is noise.  While the unit is better than most for noise, it still has a hum that requires turning up the television volume a little when using it while watching TV. With Barbara's wheel we added a LooLee winder flyer and bobbins, which really helps by not having to stop and start while advancing the yarn.  For more information on making an electric spinner there is a website created by the manufacturer of the Electric Eel spinner, detailing his work on creating his own spinner.