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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – November 2020

November 2, 2020


This year due to the pandemic our town recommended not going out for traditional Halloween trick or treat. Instead we decided to have a small party at our house with my five year old daughter and the two other families we have podded with since this the beginning of the pandemic. I spent a lot of time planning about a dozen different games for the kids. I think the results were more fun than a traditional Halloween. This great experience has removed my worry about the other upcoming holidays being disappointments. I now feel excited to try and come up with alternative pandemic friendly twists on the holidays and will hopefully make some great memories just like we did for this Halloween. Below was one of our favorite games called donuts on a string, proving my daughter really will do just about anything for a donut.

Warmest Yarn

I did some testing to find the warmest yarn and was shocked with my test results since my testing found very different results than what you would find by searching for it online. I posted a video about it and made a blog post with a few more details. I got a lot of great feedback from this popular video and have already started thinking about ways to expand on this experiment.

EEW 6.0

I posted a video that shows what will come in the box of the EEW 6.0 in a Kickstarter update. It’s great to see how excited the community is for me to start shipping the EEW 6.0.  If you missed the Kickstarter the best option is to signup for an email notification so you will be one of the first to know when it’s in stock and ready for order (estimated to be around February).  I will of course announce this in the newsletter when the EEW 6.0 is in stock so if you don’t mind waiting for an extra few weeks this newsletter will work too.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – October 2020

Dreaming Robots Newsletter

October 01, 2020


The hot days of summer are over here in Massachusetts, and the cool nights of fall are here.  It's an excellent time of the year for spinning, knitting, or your fiber craft of choice. Yippy!

I started posting a daily fiber related image to Instagram. If you are on Instagram, consider subscribing to my Instagram account to see some great EEW photos.

EEW 6.0 Review

The first public review of the EEW 6.0 has been posted here by Tanya one of my beta testers. Go check it out if you want to see what another person thinks about the EEW 6.0.

Spin Anywhere Contest Winners

Last month there was a photo competition. Joyo was the overall winning with the photo below.  Congrats Joyo!

I'd also like to congratulate all the daily winners.

  1. Joyo
  2. Gwyn Krause
  3. Joyo
  4. Amanda Hannaford
  5. Linda Samuelson
  6. Erica Campbell
  7. Lisa Sawyer

EEW Yarn Counter Update

I released a new video of my latest Yarn Counter prototype. I'm pretty happy with how it's functioning at this point and I've given out prototypes to a few beta testers to get more feedback at this point to find out what I else I can improve.  A community poll helped me see what software behavior most people in the community want and have already updated the software to match the winning votes.  That poll also showed the community overwhelmingly wants me to do another Kickstarter so I will do that when this product is ready.  I still need to do a bunch more work refining the design and starting to get it ready for manufacturing so it will still be awhile, but I will keep you all updated. 

There was another yarn counter video about how yarn size causes error in all the yarn counters that I know about and a possible solution I'm proposing.  Based on the feedback from that video I have added the WPI solution I mentioned in the video and am seeing what my testers thing of it.

Here are the results to some of the yarn counter poll questions I sent to the community.

Antique Circular Sock Machine First Stitches

As I've mentioned before I'm restoring an antique knitting machine to learn more about these machines so I can decide if I want to make one for the community.  I am still undecided on that question, but I made a lot of progress with my antique machine this past month.  You can see a video here where I made a 3D printed cylinder and then started knitting with it.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – September 2020

September 1, 2020


I hope you all have been enjoying your summer.  The pandemic has caused us to cancel some of our travel plans; however, we have adapted and it’s been a fun summer for our family.  We’ve done some socially distanced camping and hiking.  My daughter has been learning to swim, and we practice nearly every hot day at our neighbor who has a small beach on a nice swimming lake.

Spin Anywhere Contest

I’m running a contest where you can win gift certificates to my store.  You can submit photos either as explained in the full rules here, or another option is to just reply to this email with your photos, name, and email.  The contest starts September 20th and runs for 8 days.  You will be able to vote for your favorites each day on our Ravelry or Facebook group. #spinanywhere

EEW 6.0

During this past month I finished what should be the final prototype of the EEW 6.0.  Now I’m focused very much on manufacturing and improving the documentation. This Kickstarter update has a lot more information.

Cone Winder

First off I want to thank you all for the suggestions and support you gave me on the last cone winder update. I took all that feedback and made a new functioning prototype and that is what I show off in this video. This is still in an early prototype stage and it needs a lot of refinement, but I’m happy with how things are going. If you have any suggestions or feedback let me know.

Circular Knitting Machine Restoration

I posted a third update to my project to restore a circular knitting machine.  In this update I get some needles for it and then run into a new issue with the cylinder. Overall I’m happy with this project. I still haven’t decided if I’ll try to make one for my store, but I’m learning a lot and have been sharing that knowledge so the project is already a success.  Here is a link to this video.

Spin Off Magazine Advertisement

Here is a photo of an ad I put in Spin Off Magazine.  I have done a little digital advertiseing in the past, but this is the first time I’ve ever done a print advertisement for the EEW.  Advertising in general is an area I don’t have much experience and is a skill I want to to grow.  As an engineer I used to think that a good product will sell itself.  While there is truth to that, advertising is important way to reach people who would want a product, but haven’t heard about it.  Of course the best advertisement and the most important one for the EEW is word of month.  So if you ever think you know someone who might be looking for a spinning wheel please tell them about your experiences with the EEW.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel

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Spin Anywhere Photo Contest

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 support@dreamingrobots.com 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.

#spinanywhere

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter (August 2020)

Dreaming Robots Newsletter

August 05, 2020


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.

Coupon Code

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)

View web version of this email

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter (July 2020)

Dreaming Robots Newsletter

July 05, 2020


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…

EEW 6.0

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.

Future Projects

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)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter (June 2020)

Dreaming Robots Newsletter

June 16, 2020


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.

I have been releasing a lot of videos recently on my youtube channel. All of them have been about the EEW 6.0 this month. If you want to see if you’ve missed any go check my youtube spin playlist. One particular video worth watching compares the EEW Nano 1.1 to the EEW 6.0.

Next Month

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)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel

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Electric Eel Wheel 6.0 Kickstarter Press Release

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.

Check out the Kickstarter for this project for more many more details on the improvements this new e-spinner it offers.

Below are some images you can use on blog or social media posts.

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Electric Eel Wheel Mini 2 Press Release

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.

For more information visit the Electric Eel Wheel Mini 2 Kickstarter.

Press, if you are looking for higher resolution images or additional content please contact us.

 

 

 

 

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Guide to Spinning Fiber into Yarn

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:

Go to Electric Eel Wheel Store