8 Tips for Spinning with a WooLee Winder

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I frequently get questions about spinning with a WooLee Winder.

I have two and I use them a lot. I have a Schacht compatible WW, and I move it between the Schacht wheels I own (Matchless, Sidekick, and Flatiron) with zero problems. I have one for my Hansen MiniSpinner and I typically don't spin without it.

I am definitely a WooLee Winder fan. If you are thinking about a WooLee Winder, or newly spinning with one here are few tips to help you like yours as much as I like mine.

  1. Try before you buy. Like all tools that cost more than a couple of bucks, I suggest that you try a WooLee Winder before you buy one. Try to test drive a WooLee Winder on the same type of wheel you want use; they feel different on each brand brands a models of wheel.
  2. Start slowly. Spinning with a WooLee Winder feels a little different, make sure to start slowly and make adjustments to your wheel along the way. 
  3. Turn down the tug.  A WooLee Winder adds extra pull to your spinning because it's winding your yarn on for you. For some people (especially spinners who make very fine yarns) this is a deal breaker. I have to turn the uptake on my Scotch tension wheels down significantly when I use my WooLee Winder. I cross lace on the arm of the flyer, especially if I am spinning fine with a woolen draft. 
  4. Oil her to keep her happy. I put a couple drops of oil on the travel screw for every couple of full bobbins I spin. Do not over oil. If there is too much oil  the excess oil will be flug all over the room as you spin, ask me how I know.
  5. Watch the wrap. If you find your yarn won't wind on no matter what adjustments you make, check to make sure your yarn isn't looped around the eyelet that travels up and down the flyer. For me this is the answer to yarn not winding on 95% of the time.
  6. Make sure the gears are lined up. This is the answer to yarn not winding on the other 5% of the time. Make sure the nylon gears on the bobbin and on the flyer are meshing, if they aren't nothing will turn. 
  7. Be focused when disassembling. If you need to take your WooLee Winder apart, be very focused. There is a great tutorial with pictures on the WooLee Winder site. Sit at a table in good light and lock yourself away from kitties. When I do a disassembly I work in a sheet pan with a lip to contain the parts, and on top of a small towel, so small parts won't roll away. The reasons I've had to take my WooLee winder apart were the same each time, a small chunk of fiber dropped into the winding mechanism and wound itself around, making the winding on uneven.
  8. Bring the pretty. Akerworks, the company that brings the pretty to spinning, has WooLee Winder compatible bobbins. There is a special kind of joy I get choosing what color bobbin to use for a new spin.

Have fun spinning and plying with your WooLee Winder!