The portability of the EEW lets people spin anywhere they want. On a couch, in a train, on a boat, or when camping. I’ve seen people using their EEW in all of those places and many more. This contest lets you share your favorite photos of interesting places you have used your EEW e-Spinner.
The way the contest works is you can email me your photos. Then September 20-26th 2020 each day I will be making a poll with several of the photos sent to me and will post a poll to the Ravelry and Facebook EEW groups. The photo that gets the most valid votes each day will get a $20 gift certificate that you use on my store. At the end I will have one more vote with all seven daily winners and the grand winner of that poll will win a $100 gift certificate to my store.
To enter send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org titled “Spin Anywhere Contest” with your photos attached. Please include your name so I can give credit for the photos. If you can please submit full resolution jpg images and keep the total size of each email under 20 MB. You can send multiple emails if you have over 20MB of images.
By submitting photos to this contest you are giving me permission to reuse them in any way I want to market current and future EEWs. This does not give me exclusive rights so you can still use the photo yourself however you want. I will email any winners, and will also announce the winning photos to the EEW community.
Email me your submissions right now, or go and take new photos with your EEW so you can enter those. I will upload photos as I get them to this album.
You may only enter if your local laws allow it and you must have the rights to use your photo in this manner.
Welcome to the August 2020 edition of the Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter. This month I've spent much of my time on several future research projects. While the EEW 6.0 project is my top priority right now I've been spending most of my time on it waiting for samples that are required to move forward. The same is true for the Yarn Counter and Cone Winder projects. Rest assured those are all priorities for me, but when I am waiting on those projects I can best use my time looking at a long list of ideas people in the community have given me. This also gives me a better chance at having more projects in the pipeline so the gaps between releases of new fiber tools isn't as large. I don't like to get hopes too high so I don't always talk about these far out research projects, but this month I decided to release a few videos about one of these. It is the knitting machine project mentioned at the end of this letter.
I decide to try a new thing that I haven't done in the past. I'm offering a coupon code to everyone that will save you 5% on anything you buy in my DreamingRobots store. The code is "summer-special-5" (don't include the quotation marks). This code is valid until midnight on August 9th eastern time (GMT-4). Just put this code in the form asking for a coupon code during checkout and the discount will be automatically displayed on the website.
I feel my prices are fair and they are based on how much the product costs to make so I haven't done discounts in the past. However, I can afford to give a discount so I thought I'd offer one to say thanks. Feel free to share this code with others. It will work for anyone, but it would be nice if you suggest they sign up for this newsletter at the bottom of www.dreamingroboots.com since this was done to thank you reading this newsletter.
EEW 6.0 Update
During the past month I received the Kickstarter funds and gave a manufacturing update. The short summary is that everything is on track and I have been able to secure several different wall power supplies to cover the most common places the EEW 6.0 was purchased (North America, Europe, UK, and Australia).
There was another update asking the community to help make a user manual by giving feedback on my first draft. I got a ton of feedback, and have already implemented most of it. I'm still waiting to get final samples so I can get final photos, but thanks to all the feedback there will be a great paper user manual included with every EEW 6.0.
Circular Knitting Machine Research
I have a long list of fiber tools the EEW community has ask me to make. I decided to start looking into circular sock machine (CSM). One of the reasons I picked this is because the market is kind of like eSpinners before I started making the EEW. There are some low quality 3d printed CSM machines which are affordable, but have limited functionality. Then there are some really nice machines, but they tend to cost $1400+ unless you can find a used one. I'm hopeful I can leverage some of the low cost manufacturing processes I use for the EEW to make a more affordable CSM that works great and document it in a way that makes it easier to use.
Before getting started making a CSM, I decided to buy a cheap non-working CSM from ebay and see if I can fix it so I can learn in depth how these machines work. I'm recording a few videos about this process. So far I made one video where I took apart the CSM, and then a second video where I started fixing it. It's been a really fun project and I hope others find these videos interesting. There is still a long ways to go, but I am now hopeful that after getting this old machine working it will help me decide if I really want to go forward making my own CSM.
– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)
Welcome to the July 2020 edition of the Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter. Last month some people had issues reading the newsletter and others got two copies. I’m really sorry about those issues. I’ve tried to fix them with this month’s letter, but if you are having issues let me know.
It’s been a very busy month for me. Here is what I’ve been up to…
The EEW 6.0 Kickstarter campaign ended on June 20th. I’ve had a lot of people asking me after it closed how they join the Kickstarter, and unfortunately that isn’t possible. I do the Kickstarter to figure out how many EEW 6.0 e-spinners I should order in the first batch from my manufacturing partners and to get the funds early so I can afford to order a big batch. A big batch really helps keep the price lower. If you missed out on the Kickstarter you can sign up for an in stock email notification for the EEW 6.0 by clicking the “Join Waitlist” button on my website. They will be in stock after I ship the EEW 6.0 to all the Kickstarter backers, which I’m estimating will be around February. I should have enough to meet demand since I am making a lot more than I needed for the Kickstarter backers.
I am working on some mold updates and then getting second set of samples of the EEW 6.0 plastic parts. Most of the molds were updated to fix things ranging from cosmetic issues to improving fit. I even had a new mold made to try out an improved hook design which I love. I made an update on my Kickstarter page with more details about the current manufacturing status of the EEW 6.0.
I have not yet gotten the funds from Kickstarter, but I should be getting them in the next week. When I get these funds I will start finalizing my orders for some of the parts.
EEW Nano Quill
I designed a free 3D printable quill for the EEW Nano. For those not familiar with a quill it basically allows you to spin in a new way on your EEW Nano. Instead of the yarn going on the bobbin it works more like a drop spindle and puts the yarn on a stick. Hopefully some of you with EEW Nanos will try out this new method of spinning yarn and let me know what you think. You can check out a video for more information about this video.
I know there is a lot of interest from people about the EEW Yarn Counter. I have finished all the design updates for the plastic case, circuit board, and custom keypad. I’m working on making a new prototype based on all these updates, but it takes awhile to get these custom parts made. While this is happening I’m working on several software updates to make it more usable. Hopefully in 1-2 months I’ll have a some prototypes that are much closer to final and will start doing more real world testing with different types of yarn. I will keep people updated on this project.
The level winding cone winder is something I have also spent a little time working on. I think I’ve come up with a much more manufacturable level winding drum design. It is actually requiring me to do a lot of new techniques in CAD to design the part so it’s been a fun learning experience for me. If I get something working here I will be sure to share it with you, but currently this is still in the proof of concept stage.
– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)
Welcome to our first monthly Electric Eel Wheel (EEW) newsletter. In the past I’ve sent out emails to this group about twice a year when I had a major new product to announce. I’ve been getting a lot of requests from the community saying it is difficult to follow the news on the EEW Facebook and Ravelry groups due to increased traffic there. I can understand that so I’ll be sending out a monthly newsletter with big new announcements for the EEW community and a summary of the most interesting news from the past month. If you are not interested in these updates, you can just unsubcribe at the bottom of this email and you’ll be removed from this list.
Electric Eel Wheel 6
The biggest news for this past month has been the kickstarter for the Electric Eel Wheel 6.0. This is my new larger, high speed, travel friendly e-spinner. The Kickstarter for this is closing in a few days (this Saturday at 11:00 AM ET) so if you haven’t seen it go and look at the Kickstarter page for the EEW 6.0. There is a short video on the top that gives a good overview about this new wheel. If you are still trying to decide whether to support it, the EEW 6.0 Kickstarter updates show my commitment to this project with many updates during the past month ranging from free 3D printable parts to detailed explainations of features where the community requested more information.
The focus next month will be moving fotward with the EEW 6.0 to keep that project on track. I’m expecting to have a good progress update for it. Any extra time that I have will be spent on the next prototype for the EEW Yarn Counter project. If you don’t know about this Yarn Counter I’ve created a video about my last prototype here.
That’s all for this month.
– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)
It is a beautiful new e-spinner that works great for both new and experienced spinners. If you haven’t spun yarn before, but you are interested in making your own yarn then this is an affordable e-spinner that makes it easy to learn spinning. If you are an experienced spinner then this is a fast, quite, and travel friendly e-spinner with large 8 ounce bobbins that will make you more productive.
Dreaming Robots launched a new electric spinning wheel on Kickstarter. There are lots of spinning wheels that spin wool into yarn, but this one is extraordinary in several ways.
First it has a beautiful design and solid feel. This design not only looks great, but it’s open nature is helpful as it lets people see their yarn while they spin it.
Secondly it has been designed to help make spinning easier for new spinners. The lower price and simple to use features makes it great for people learning to spin.
Lastly it is designed to be the ultimate travel spinning wheel. It’s small, lightweight, and durable design when combine with it running off a USB port makes it great for spinning with friends anywhere.
In this age when people are trying to get more connected to nature spinning is a great hobby since it lets you make yarn from animal and plant fibers. Then using a pair of knitting needles you can make that into some clothing. This is called going from sheep to shawl. The Electric Eel Wheel Mini is a great spinning wheel to help you do this.
Spinning is a fascinating process that has been around for thousands of years, but understanding the fundamentals can help make you a better spinner.
Yarn can be classified by how many strands are twisted together. If you twist fiber so it forms a string you have single-ply yarn, or a single. Multi-ply yarn is twisting 2 or more of those singles together. For this article we will just be simply referring to “multi-ply yarn” as “yarn” since that is what most spinners do.
A spinning wheel takes the animal or plant fibers and twists them together into a single. In a separate step, the spinning wheel also plies two or more of those singles together into yarn by plying them in the opposite direction of the single. So, if your spinning wheel is going clockwise while spinning the singles you should run it counter clockwise during plying. If you don’t ply in the opposite direction of the singles, you’ll see that the plying over twists the singles and the singles don’t nicely wrap around each other. Try plying in the wrong direction one time and you’ll quickly see how the yarn just won’t look or feel right.
When plying yarn, you’ll either get Z-twist or S-twist yarn depending on the direction your flyer is spinning. In the image to the right you can see how Z-twist goes up and to the right, but S-twist goes up and to the left. Your twist depends on the type of the spinning wheel you have, so generally the easiest way to figure this out is to spin some fiber and look at it.
Now that we have covered the basics of the different types of twisting that make yarn, let’s discuss how the spinning wheel puts the twist into yarn by focusing on singles. At the most basic level, a spinning wheel consists of the flyer and the bobbin. There are three main types of spinning wheels that drive the bobbin and flyer in different ways. Scotch Tension has the drive belt on the flyer, and a tension band on the bobbin makes the bobbin spin slower than the flyer which adds twist. Irish Tension has the drive belt on the bobbin, and a tension band on the flyer makes the flyer spin slower than the bobbin which adds twist. Lastly the Double Drive has a drive belt on both the flyer and the bobbin, and different gear ratios cause the flyer and belt to spin at different speeds.
Sometimes the tension band is called a brake band. This is because it acts like a brake and slows either the flyer or bobbin down.
Scotch Tension – #1 is a drive belt, and #2 is a tension band
Irish Tension – #1 is a tension band, and #2 is a drive belt
Double Drive – #1 is a drive belt, and #2 is a drive belt
With all these different types of spinning wheels the important part to remember is the flyer and bobbin are spinning at different rates. Making singles depends on one spinning faster than the other. The spinning wheel is both twisting the fiber and wrapping it around the bobbin. To see how that’s happening let’s think about what happens in some extreme cases on a Scotch Tension spinning wheel.
With Scotch Tension what happens if the flyer is turning and the bobbin is not because you have a high tension setting? If the bobbin is not turning, the fiber goes onto the bobbin with no twist. So, the single would fall apart because there would be no twists to hold it together. In the other extreme, what happens if the flyer and bobbin are turning at the same speed? Twist is being applied to the fiber, but no fiber is pulled onto the bobbin. The fiber will keep twisting until it breaks. This is obviously too much twist in the yarn.
For Irish Tension it’s a little different. So in one extreme when the flyer is stopped and the bobbin is spinning there is no twist. In the other extreme where both flyer and bobbin are spinning at the same speed there is too much twist (this case is the same as Scotch Tension).
So, what makes good yarn is the difference in the speed of rotation of the flyer and the bobbin. A smaller difference in rotational speeds between the flyer and bobbin will result in yarn being pulled onto the bobbin more slowly and thus a higher twist per inch. Remember, the smaller the difference in rotational speed between the flyer and bobbin the more twist there will be.
When spinning you must consider one more factor, which is uptake. Uptake is the amount of pull on the fiber. If you feel a lot of uptake, then there is too much tension on the bobbin. On the other hand, if there is no uptake, then the rotation of the bobbin is zero and your single will get too much twist. If you let the uptake pull the fiber into the wheel too quickly then your single will not have much twist. The point here is while the tension band is what creates uptake, the final decision on how much yarn actually goes on the bobbin is your fingers, which is holding the fiber. So, even if there is a lot of uptake if your fingers aren’t letting fiber onto the bobbin then the bobbin will spin at the same rate as the flyer, and you will have over twisted yarn. With practice a spinner gets the feel for all this and will let the spinning wheel pull in fibers at a ratio that will give their singles the amount of twist the spinner wants.
There you have it. If you have any questions let me know either in the comments or with our contact-us page.
Spinning is about taking animal fibers such as wool and twisting it into yarn. It’s a great hobby that helps you appreciate making something. Something as simple as a pencil would be nearly impossible for a single person to make, but you can take a sheep fleece spin that into yarn, and then knit that into mittens or a sweater. Spinning is a very fulfilling hobby.
Learning how to spin different animal and plant fibers into yarn is easy. It generally takes only a few minutes to gets started, but you can spend a lifetime perfecting some of the more advanced techniques. This guide will focus on teaching people how to get started.
There are three major ways people learn to spin today. Electric spinning wheels, treadle spinning wheels, and drop spindles. Drop spindles won’t be covered by this guide, but there are many other guides out there if you want to look into it.
Many people will learn on a treadle wheel, but electric spinning wheels are becoming more popular now that affordable options like the Electric Eel Wheel exist. Learning on an electric spinning wheel is easier because you don’t need to coordinate your feet and hands since a little motor handles spinning the wheel for you. Otherwise learning to spin on electric or treadle wheels is very similar and this guide should work for both of those.
The basic steps to get started spinning are to attach a lead yarn to your bobbin and guiding it through your spinning wheel. Then you start spinning your wheel to add twist to your fiber (or rovings), and let it feed onto your bobbin. Then you must constantly monitor the yarn going onto the bobbin to make sure it has the right amount of twist. Below is a short video that shows these steps in more detail.
After spinning that you have what is called “singles”. This means your yarn is a single strand. Many people will then ply the yarn together. There are different ply techniques, but the simplest is to just reverse the direction of your wheel and spin two bobbins of singles yarn onto a third bobbin. The reason you must reverse the direction of your wheel is so that you don’t untwist the yarn when plying it together. Here is a video that explains plying in more detail.
Hopefully that was helpful in learning the basics of spinnings. If you want more info here are some links: