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We’re Experiencing Technical Difficulties

I think I’m under a mechanical black cloud. Right now, everything I touch breaks. Okay, not everything. Only spinning wheels. Sigh.

You remember how I mentioned that Rosie the Reeves needed a new drive band, right? Marcy thought she had some linen at home and she was going to bring that for us to use but she couldn’t find it. I wasn’t sure what was suitable for drive band material so I brought nothing. But then Marcy thought that the coopworth Laurie was spinning would work just fine if we triple plyed it. We tried that and I learned how to put on a new drive band. But it was stretchy and difficult and finally it broke. I searched high and low and asked every vendor in the fiber room at SPA if they had anything I could use for a drive band but no one did. Finally, though, another spinner came to my rescue with some mercerized cotton string. It was very very thin and we weren’t sure it would work but it did and I was good to go. I finished spinning the singles I showed you yesterday and when I got home I finished spinning the Indigo Moon I bought at last year’s SPA. Last night, while switching bobbins on Rosie, the drive band broke.


The end.

There will be no spinning on Rosie until new drive band material is purchased.


This is when it’s beneficial to have multiple wheels, though. And, since it was plying I was after, I was okay with Rosie being out of commission because I always ply on Lucy. She’s got the Woolee Winder advantage, you know. So I sat down and started plying. Zipped right along and filled a whole bobbin. Switched bobbins and the tension string broke. I replaced that with some sugar ‘n cream and started plying some more. It was then I noticed the wheel had a wobble. Hmmm. I wonder when that started, thinks me. Then I noticed the wheel wobble getting worse and finally the whole thing sort of, well, fell apart. Seems like somewhere along the line (no way of knowing when) the piece (washer? bolt? nut? anyone out there with a Lendrum even know what I’m talking about?) that holds the upright and the wheel together had fallen off.


The end.

There will be no spinning on Lucy until a new piece has been purchased.


I’ve still got Hot Lips the Hitchhiker and Abigail the Canadian Production Wheel. But you know what? I’m sort of afraid to touch them.

This Post Has 49 Comments

  1. I don’t think I’d touch them either! WOW! That’s really odd that everything seems to be breaking. Maybe it’s a sign that you should be knitting & not spinning?

  2. This maybe on time I’m happy you’re so far away. Don’t come near my Emmylou! And maybe you’d better knit…Addi’s are hard to break.

  3. wow… I didn’t know spinning could be so dangerous with all these drive bands snapping and wheels falling off…

    Y’know, I had a week in the lab like this: I broke 2 small instruments ($500 each) in 30 minutes, then I broke a $20,000 machine and finally, b/c the repairman was on his way, I turned on a machine and shorted out a $1.3mil machine. $5000 to replace a fuse. these days usually start with me dropping a piece of glassware. Now, I know… if I drop glassware, I leave the lab for the day.

  4. Yikes! All at once. Just get some cotton twine that you tie chickens together with. That’s what my Schacht stuff looks like.

  5. Oh no!!!! How terrible. I’d stay away from the other two also. At least until Mercury goes out of retrograde – I’m quite sure that’s the problem.

  6. Ouch….bad wheel karma :(. I think that the piece that feel off of the lendrum is a little c clip. You probably can get one in a hardware store, if that is what it was.


  7. Yikes! I’d be afraid to touch another wheel too. Thankfully it doesn’t sound like any of the problems are major or expensive – just inconvenient.

  8. Yeppers, Carole, I’d probably step away from the other two wheels, too…

    But I’m not sure about the whole addi thing – they are difficult to break, but y’know, they are also pointy and hurty, so be careful. πŸ˜‰

  9. Oh jeez, that’s no fun. Now Marcy likes her fancy drive bands, but really, really, you can use string from the supermarket or hardware store. Don’t tell, but it’s actually my favorite drive band material. Marcy just likes to get fancy.

    Now about the nut, again, the hardware store should be able to hook you up. It’s a bit of a PITA, but if you bring the wheel in, they should be able to find a nut that will fit right on there. Nothing fancy there. Mine was coming undone last week too.

    Don’t let those mechanical ghosts mess with you. Show them who’s boss!

  10. OMG Carol. Sheesh! How frustrating! Sounds like Marcy needs to move in for a while to help you figure out the fixes and restore that good wheel Karma again. The woman is magic I tell you.

  11. I keep a cone of kitchen twine in my spinning bag for broken drive bands and I’ve also found that pony bead lacing works pretty darn well too.

  12. I use cotton package twine stuff on my Schacht. I found it at Walmart. You used to be able to find it near packing materials, but that’s all tape and synthetic stuff now.

  13. I think I’d stay away from the other two spinning wheels for now, too! Not so sure I’d pick up a knitting needle, either – you could hurt youself πŸ™‚

  14. Okay drop the fiber and back away from the wheels slooowly…you didn’t put a sticker on anything lately, did you? ;o) I hope this streak ends soon…

  15. Rose difficulties? Contact Tracy Eichheim at Woolly Designs (NAYY) in Colorado. They’ve had a Majacraft dealership longer than the current owners of the company have had it. Tracy helped me with problems on mine via Internet, without charge. Then I bought all sorts of accessories from him…..

  16. Carole, I use 48 lb. test hemp twine for my Kromski and antique wheels and it’s great. I have a BIG ball. If you want some, email me your address and I’ll treat ya right.

  17. This is crazy! I think you had better light some candles and do a drive band dance. It’ll clear out the evil spirits. Extra points for hopping on one leg. πŸ˜‰

  18. If the thing that fell off the Lendrum is the part that holds the footman onto the wheel, it’s called an “e” clip and can be bought at Home Depot or any real hardware store. (I used to keep both drive bands on my Lendrum, one tied off to the back, so as not to have to take it on and off.) As for drive bands, I have stretch bands on all my wheels and never have a problem. I don’t like double drive, though.

  19. I’m sure you’ve got a ball of cotton string in your bottom kitchen drawer, you have one of those don’t you? That’s all you need. No problem, really.

  20. I don’t blame you either. I’m like that with software, some days more than others.

    I want to know how many chickens Laurie ties together, and if they can still cross the road.

  21. Egads – how depressing! I’m sure you’ll get your spinning mojo back in no time though. I bet if you contact Lendrum he’d be able to get you the piece you need!

  22. So, inquiring minds want to know, why are your drive bands failing? Too tight? A rough spot abrading the cord? Need more oil in the wheel’s joints? Need to sand the grooves to increase friction so you can use a looser band?

    I’m partial to Maysville carpet warp. Durable, nice colors, easy to splice a join…

    Wishing you a change for the better in your luck!

  23. I’m pretty sure you can’t do much to kill the Hitchhiker short of dropping it, but stay far, far away from Abilgail until this bad juju passes.


  24. Okay, the mysteries of the universe… like this one about the drive bands breaking… are what make me very very afraid of owning a spinning wheel. I need to know my equipment and trust that it’s not going to fail me at a critical moment!! Oh the STRESS!

    Would it help if I sent you some hemp cord for the drive band? You know how often mine would break, and it hasn’t since I switched to hemp. For the drive band. NOT to smoke. And it doesn’t stretch at all.
    The lost nut? Check the vacuum bag. Maybe.

  26. Well I have a Lendrum and still don’t know what piece fell off. That’s probably not a good thing. I do know mine wobbles too from time to time. I haven’t been able to figure out why though.

  27. Be carefil what you touch – but I’m sure the bad luck will change – it’s just gotta…

    Thanks for the SPA stories – you brought home some beautiful fiber!! And as for the swingers, I guess it’s a good thing I wasn’t there with my daughter this year. But I guess they weren’t in the pool – or at least I hope they weren’t :)!

  28. just repeat the magic words “Martini Martini chase away the spinning wheel genie”.
    relax girl you are an expert spinner! I sure you’ll survive this one. πŸ™‚

  29. Doh! I’ve been through the same thing with my Reeves saxony wheel. I went to the hardware store and Wally World, and I couldn’t find any plain cotton string that was the right weight. The groove on the wheel that the belt fits in is pretty narrow on the Reeves, and that limits your options. I ended up buying a few ounces of cord from the Yarn Barn of Kansas. They were a Reeves dealer, and they knew what I needed. I bought my wheel from Rick and he showed me to put a tiny glob of Elmer’s glue on the knot on the belt and to coat it with bee’s wax after that dried. I do think the wax helps the belt last longer.

  30. I had a similar problem with my lendrum wheel being off kilter the other day. Luckily I had my much more mechanically minded boyfriend look at it and he tightened it up for me. Hope you get your wheels fixed soon! I can’t imagine how crazy I’d be if mine was out of commission since I only have the one….

  31. I don’t blame you for not wanting to touch the others! Pick up a book or some knitting and stay far away from the wheels — clearly the fiber gods have other plans for you than spinning right now.

    (I hope they get over that soon, though, for your sake.)

  32. aarrrgggh – definitely not okay.. too many wheels going belly up.
    I used a cotton twine for my Reeves – I think it is a two pound size. got it at the local hardware store, and I sew it together; it seems to last a long time.
    Perhaps it is sock knitting time???

  33. coton string for drivebands is hard to find! but home depot in our area sells one that i likeβ€”it is what used to be known as “postal string” and makes a very good driveband for most fibers. it’s strong, but not too heavy and stands up for weeks of frequent spinning. it’s slightly thinner than the string that comes with the ashford wheels.
    if you can’t find it, i could send you some.

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