Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Babe's Three Bobbin Kit for Country Spinner

This was my first effort, some of the thick bits were by design and some were me loosing control of what I was doing. I've had the Country Spinner for 4 years but I have never spun much on it, I mostly used it for plying and love it for that. The fibre wasn't the best, even in this picture the amount of straw bits shows, the both the dyer and the mill should be ashamed of themselves, sheep have no shame. But the bobbin set up was fine. I spun quite fine singles, 8 to 10 wraps par inch in places and I could do better with practise. I don't think I would spin much finer than 6 wraps on the original Country. The plastic bobbin is smaller and lighter, much lighter, much easier to turn.

Here's the kit on my wheel. Wish I had taken a picture of the wheel with the original Ashford wooden bobbin on it %20wheels/4/spinning/country/moredetail.html the Ashford site has all the specs and a good picture.

This is the ugliest piece of spinning equipment I have ever seen, it has no charm, it's plastic and junky looking plastic at that. It's junky feeling plastic, there is one piece of wood and it's crude, the whole thing reminds me of phentex yarn. The country Spinner is plain but good wood and has the beauty of a piece that does it's job.

But, ugly is as ugly does and these bobbins do a really good job.

Start with price, 57.30 for three bobbins and adaptor kit, one bobbin from my Ashford supplier is more than that, shipping was cheap 9.35, shipping was quick even across the border, it's a great deal.

The instructions are not great. I often get irritated by instructions that tell me to much, "what kind of an idiot do these people think their customers are?" but in this case I am that kind of an idiot. But I did figure it out. And no, there are no better instructions on the site. I am sure that if I had emailed or phoned Nils would have helped but the instructions should be better.

Plying, ah, plying, that why I wanted more than one bobbin in the first place,  and that's why Babe's sells them in a set of three, very sensible of them.  So why the devil don't they design and sell a kate, either separately as of part of the whole thing.  I made my own quite easily but well, what can I say.  This is ugly too but it works.
There are all kinds of possibilities that open up,  an regular 2 ply with a large amounts of continuous yarn, 3 ply, fill the babe's bobbins and then put the larger Ashford bobbin back on to ply.
A Country Spinner takes some getting used to,  it's harder to start, more work to pedal and the spinner need to really pay attention to which direction it's going.  But it's the best choice I know of for a second wheel, even if the only thing you ever do is ply singles spun on another wheel.
And those ugly, really really ugly bobbins?  They are great, they work.  I'd like to try 3 bobbins in the original Ashford wood for comparison but not enough to buy them.  And price is not the only advantage,  the lightness of the plastic bobbin really makes an improvement.