Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thinking Ahead

So, here is a much younger me with my Whitin winder.  One of the things I want to talk about during the general session address in Quebec is the equipment I have invested in over the years.  This winder is the cat's meow in terms of winding pirns.

I bought it from Allen Fannin in about 1986.  I remember telling him I wanted 100 pirns with it and he laughed and said  "more like a 1000, Fry".

It cost as much to have it shipped from New York as it did to purchase it, but it was worth the price.  We actually decided to buy two heads although I've only ever used the one - the other is there for spare parts if nothing else.

So long as you keep pirns in the carousel and yarn for it to wind from, it will continue to dutifully wind and doff nearly perfect pirns.  And all with a minimum of supervision.  I'm just in the photo to give scale to the machine.  My left hand is resting on the carousel that holds the pirns, you should be able to see a pirn being wound and which will get doffed and fall down a chute below the red 'tab' you can see in the foreground.  Click photo to biggify.

The one feature the machine does not have is the tail cutter, so after the collection box is filled with pirns, I generally cut the tails off and stack the pirns neatly in another small box which then gets taken to the loom.

I don't usually use the AVL shuttles and pirns which I have to wind by hand unless I'm using something like rayon chenille or a really heavy wool which doesn't wind in the Whitin winder without major adjustments.  In the years that I've had the winder I've accumulated something like 1700+ hours of winding time on it.  But that time has meant good, well wound pirns, and generally allowed me to work on other things while the machine just keeps reliably chugging along.


Janet said...

Oooo, wouldn't I love a tool like that!? A well round pirn makes such a difference in speed and efficiency, not to mention that I do not <3 the time it takes to fill a big pirn with fine threads. At least my new winder has a much higher RPM than my old one did.

Laura said...

....and no friction burns. :D

Syne Mitchell said...

That pirn winder is a thing of beauty, for sure.