I can’t quite believe it – I’ve been given a new spinning wheel! It’s been sitting in a garage for a while and needs a bit of love and attention to get it humming but isn’t it sweet? It’s quite a bit smaller than my Ashford Traditional in the back of the photo.
A little bit of research has revealed that it was made by E. R. Cole of Glendowie, Auckland. (That’s not too far from where I live now.) Mr Cole made a couple of different styles of wheel in the 1970’s and this one is a double drive upright wheel. I just love the shaped, ply wheel. It’s gorgeous. I’m hankering for a whole kitchen in this sort of ply.
Apparently the long prong sticking out of the centre front of the axle is designed to hold a hand wound skeiner. Wouldn’t that be cool? Skein fresh yarn straight off the bobbin? I might see if I can track one down …
There are prongs on either side of the wheel for holding spare bobbins and the bobbins are all wooden with a metal rod. Some of them are in good nick, others need gluing and a good clean.
I need to get to grips with how to use it. I finally figured out that you take the bobbin on and off by unwinding the front of the flyer. Easy if you know how. Totally tricky if you don’t.
As far as I can tell, fibre is fed through the pigtail curl at the front of the flyer and then onto the bobbin via one of the wee hooks on either side. My Traditional has the same arrangement of hooks so I’m familiar with them but they’re all a bit gunky so I’m going to replace them and clean up the pigtail at the front.
I haven’t used a double drive wheel before. Double drive means it has two, rather than one, drive bands. Any tips? I need to replace the bands – one for around the wheel and the fly and a second for around the end of the bobbin and the wheel. There are only one gear on each – that means there is only one groove the bands can lie in. My Traditional has two grooves, one big, one little. They can be used to adjust the speed the bobbin spins around, making your yarn spin more or less tightly.
The little “handle” which lies down the centre of the wheel groove in the above photo is a bit of a mystery to me. When the wheel is fixed, it will hang higher above the wheel and I’m guessing it might be used as a brake on the band that spins around the end of the bobbin? What do you think?
Am I right in thinking that a double band wheel is good for spinning lovely fine yarn? I’m guessing I might also be able to use it with just one band – scotch method … So much to learn!
And finally, a shot of the back. I can just imagine Mr E. R. Cole screwing in those screws. Can’t you?
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