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Week 1: Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel

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The unboxing

Box is enormous. Comes with a sticker saying “Keep this box!”. Have nowhere to keep it, so broke it down and recycled after the cat had played with it.

First disappointment

Comes with 3x bobbins. Great! Except they give you the crappy brown plastic ‘travel’ bobbins, not the nice wooden ones.

Assembly

Minimal, and the instructions are clear. You have to attach the treadles to the front leg, and then connect the footmen to the treadles.

When that’s done, you need to fish out the flyer assembly and make sure it’s in place. (I think this is a future how-to video).

I also bought the tensioned Lazy Kate that’s designed for the Ladybug. Again, assembly was very straightforward.

First spin

Woohoo! Looking good! Noticing that one of the spare bobbins I’ve attached to the Lazy Kate seems to be moving a bit as I’m spinning, but not really a problem. Makes a lovely noise.

First problem

Treadling was becoming increasingly effortful over a period of about 20 minutes. I tried a few drops of oil, but still no joy. I stopped, and couldn’t work it out. Then I realized that the aforementioned wobbly bobbin — which had a leader attached, and a length of spun single out of the box — had been unwinding itself while I was spinning. It was entirely wrapped around the axel that attaches the wheel to the drive hub.

Screen Shot 2016-11-12 at 1.42.38 PM.png

Emergency surgery took approx. 40 minutes. No joke. Used the hook thing for pulling yarn through the orifice, a sharp paring knife and needle-point tweezers to extract the yarn. Still don’t think I have it all out, but the wheel turns effortlessly again, so I think it’s OK for now?

Second problem

Something’s knocking when I spin. I let the yarn wind up completely onto the bobbin and tried just treadling it for a while. No knocking. Pulled yarn back through orifice and started again: knocking. Definitely the bobbin. Tried a bit of oil. More knocking.

Turns out, too much oil will make for a really noisy bobbin (thank you Google). Removed the whole flyer assembly and wiped down the shaft with Fairy liquid to degrease it. Also twisted up some paper towel and threaded it through the bobbin to remove any grease inside. Sounds better already.

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