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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – Cone Winder Special

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots

This is a special edition of my monthly newsletter about the new EEW Cone Winder, which lets you automatically wind yarn evenly on cones.

I just launched the EEW Cone Winder Kickstarter today.  Backing this Kickstarter will make sure you are among the first to get it at a discounted price of only $189.  Go to that page and watch the three minute video which explains the benefits of using cones and how it works.  Even if you don’t want a Cone Winder, I suggest watching my video because it has some funny parts for all fiber lovers.  For those not familiar with Kickstarter, it is a platform where I allow people to pre-orders of my new product at a discounted price for a limited time.  You get a special discount and it helps me build the right number based on demand.  It’s a win-win proposition.

There is a lot more detailed info on the kickstarter page about some non-obvious benefits of using cones.  I will also use Kickstarter to tell the story of this new Cone Winder through a series of updates in the coming weeks and months.  If you have any questions about the EEW Cone Winder feel free to ask me.

Lastly, if you know of any communities that might be interested please spread the word.  This will appeal to a wider range of fiber lovers than my typical eSpinners so I really need help in spreading the word to others on this one.  A successful project here will help me do more tools for fiber lovers in the future.  Thanks!

Upcoming Fiber Festivals

I will be attending the following fiber festivals.  I will have demos of the EEW 6.0, EEW Nano 2, EEW Cone Winder, and EEW Yarn Counter.  Unfortunately due to bad timing I won’t have any stock of the EEW 6.0 and EEW Nano 2 for Rhinebeck, but I will have EEW Yarn Counters.  If you are attending either of these please stop by and say hello.

New Workshop

I posted about my new workshop in the newsletter last year.  Well now it’s finally done and I’m excited to start moving in.  I plan to get the critical items moved in right away so I can start working in it.  However, a full move in will take a while because I’m working on a lot of different things for you folks and just don’t have time to focus on getting everything set up the way I’d like at the moment.  I have a couple fiber festivals that I’m attending.  I’m working on finalizing the logistics of shipping the EEW Nano 2 Kickstarter.  I have a shipment of EEW 6.0s arriving and need to be ready to ship when they get here.  I’m also launching the EEW Cone Winder Kickstarter right now.  Lastly, I am trying to keep the EEW Pro eSpinner project moving forward.  It’s a busy time for me.

Anyways, here is a video that gives a tour of my amazing new workshop which will help me work on more EEW projects efficiently.

Product Updates

Below are estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Nano 2 – Shipping end of October 2022
  • EEW 6.0 – Shipping in late November 2022
  • EEW Cone Winder – Kickstarter now

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone.  Kickstarters are the only way I do preorder and I use these to figure how large of a batch to make for new products and to help fund manufacturing that initial batch.  My Kickstarter projects give a discount, but they are for a limited time and generally last around one month.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

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

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – September 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots


My current plan for the EEW Cone Winder is to launch the Kickstarter on October 3rd, right when I send out the October version of this newsletter.  So keep an eye out for that next month.  There will be a great video explaining the product, plus the kickstarter page and several other videos going into more detail about it.

Also I hope people like the new banner image in the newsletter this month.  A designer friend made it for me and I think it’s a great update from the previous one that I made years ago.

New Product Risk Discussion

In this section I’m going to discuss some of the risks I take with new products, and my thought process in this area.  This is some of what goes into running a small business like mine.

The way I make a new product is I spend a huge amount of my time (often over a year) researching ideas, prototyping, and then updating the design so it can be manufactured at an affordable cost.  Beyond all my time, I also have large expenses before I ever can sell the first time.  The biggest pre-production expense is the tooling for the injection molding of my products which lets me keep the cost low when making big batches of them.  This tooling usually means spending tens of thousands of dollars making the molds.  Then there are other tooling costs I need to pay to get other custom parts made (circuit boards, motors, metal parts, …).  All these upfront costs let me get lower prices as long as I’m making enough of my product in a batch.  I really value getting my products in more people’s hands so this workflow is good for me.  However, keeping the prices affordable also means the profit per item I sell is lower and the only way it makes sense is to sell a lot of them.  Usually my initial viability spreadsheets where I calculate rough costs for everything assume that I’m selling several thousand of the product via kickstarter, my store, and through my retailers.

The risk for new products should be pretty clear.  Basically I’m spending all the time and money to bring products to market and if they don’t sell well then I can lose that upfront money and time.  The less I know about a product the more risk there is.  I have been doing eSpinners the longest and understand those markets the best.  So doing a new version of an eSpinner is a lot lower risk than doing some new type of product.  That said expanding my product range helps me grow my business and I absolutely love solving the engineering challenges I find when designing new products.

The first major non-eSpinner item I did was the EEW Yarn Counter.  This was an item a lot of people really wanted because there wasn’t a good affordable solution in the market.  I also knew that this was less expensive to develop than some other new products I wanted to do.  So it made a good product to test how well I could reach out to people in the craft fiber market, but was not part of my core eSpinner group.  I’m quite pleased with how well the EEW Yarn Counter has sold so that gave me confidence to go forward with the Cone Winder, which has been a lot more expensive to develop.  I’ve yet to see if the Cone Winder sales will justify my upfront time and cost, but I’ve been building up to this for years so I’ve done my best to make it succeed.  I also know cone winders users are underserved by the existing options.  In theory I could have run the Cone Winder kickstarter earlier to reduce my risk of finding the audience size sooner, but then I wouldn’t know my final cost to make it.  Also I’d feel pressure to ship it on time which would probably result in a worse product.  That’s why I like to be very far along in development before I allow pre-sales via Kickstarter, and this is the path I’m following with the Cone Winder even though it means I don’t really know how many will sell until I’m nearly done getting it ready for manufacturing.

If the Cone Winder does well for my business there are a lot of other fiber related products I can see trying out.  There are tools like a drum carder, an electric skein winder, or a CSM that would be pretty high risk due to me not knowing the number of people looking for those.  There are also stranger things on my list like a Kumihimo braiding machine or a wireless foot switch for my eSpinners. I actually have over 20 ideas that I could potentially do, which is way more than I’ll probably ever get to.  The good thing is I have a large number of fiber users subscribed to this email and before I decide on any future projects I’ll send out a poll where you can vote for the product you’re most interested in.  The interest of my existing users in that poll is one of the biggest factor in what product I do next; but I also factor in other things like my judgement of how much better a solution I can do compared to existing solutions, how much time it will take to develop, and how much money I expect the project will cost to get to manufacturing.

This may all sound complex or unfun to some, but I’ve slowly grown this business for 13 years so that makes this much more manageable since the complexity slowly grew over time.  I love having to consider these kinds of risks that have no clear “correct” answer, and this is part of what makes it all interesting to me.

EEW Naming Poll Results

Thanks everyone for voting on the EEW naming last month.  Based on the feedback I’ve decided to make no changes to the naming.  It is really helpful though to have the community confirm that my current naming works well for most of you. Over 67% of the responses said you prefer Electric Eel Wheel (EEW) over the other options.  As for adding a clarifying name to the EEW 6+ about 50% said I should just keep it the way it is.  Below are the results of those votes.  I also got a lot of written comments in the poll and I’ve read through all of those and found all that feedback super helpful.  Thanks for taking the time to vote!

Product Updates

Below are just estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Nano 2 – Shipping end of October
  • EEW 6.0 – Shipping in November
  • EEW Cone Winder – Current plan is to launch the Kickstarter on October 3rd, right when I send out the October version of this newsletter

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone.  Kickstarters are the only way I do preorder and I use these to figure how large of a batch to make for new products and to help fund manufacturing that initial batch.  My Kickstarter projects give a discount, but they are for a limited time and generally last around one month.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

View web version of this email

www.dreamingrobots.com
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EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – August 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

I should have mentioned this last month so more people could participate, but the turn out for the Tour de Fleece this July was still awesome!  For those not familiar, during the Tour de France bike race each year there is also a Tour de Fleece where spinners (the fiber type) set personal goals and usually try to do some spinning each day.  Turnout on the EEW Ravelry group and EEW Facebook group was amazing.  I’ll try to remind people here to participate next year, but you can also remember when the Tour de France happens it’s time to do some extra spinning.

Poll about EEW Naming

I’ve been thinking about the “Electric Eel Wheel” (EEW) name I use with my fiber tools.  I explain my thoughts and am asking for you to vote in this poll.  I will let you know the results next month.

Photos Wanted

I’m looking for your photos of any EEW products. Please reply here with photos that I can use.  One of the things I like to do with them is posting them to my Instagram account.  If you have any photos you can share with me or want to go take some now (the newsletter will wait for you) then send them over.  A massive thanks to all of you who are willing to share your photos with me so I can share them with others to grow the EEW community.

EEW Cone Winder Update

Here is a new video showing off the first molded parts for the Cone Winder. I’m super happy with all the improvements.

EEW 6.0 Out of Stock

Orders for the EEW 6.0 have exceeded my expectations.  I put an order in for more EEW 6.0s just after receiving my last batch early this year, but there are still a lot of delays in manufacturing so instead of my normal 6 month lead time it is looking more like 9 months.  I’m ordering twice as many EEW 6.0s this time, and they should be arriving around November.  I’m very hopeful I’ll have them ready for the prime festival season and the holiday season this year.  The EEW Nano 2s will be in stock about a month or so before these.  I’ve updated the product page saying I expect them to be in stock in November and will update that page if this changes.

Product Updates

Below are just estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Nano 2 – Shipping in October
  • EEW 6.0 – Shipping in November
  • EEW Cone Winder – Kickstarter in September or October

Keep on spinning!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

View web version of this email

www.dreamingrobots.com
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EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – July 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

I added the backers of the EEW Nano 2 Kickstarter to this newsletter.  If anyone isn’t interested in getting this monthly newsletter just click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email and you’ll be removed from this email newsletter forever.

The EEW Nano 2 Kickstarter has finished and was a massive success!  There were 3402 backers who pledged over $385K.  I love seeing new people get into the craft of spinning and the EEW Nano spinning wheels have enabled many new spinners!

Cone Winder

I’ve started making the plastic molds for the Cone Winder!  Many people here are familiar with this project since I’ve done several updates about it in the past, but if you aren’t here’s a Cone Winder prototype video I made a few months ago.  I’ve pretty much finalized the design after a lot of adjustments based on feedback from my beta testers.  It takes some back and forth to get the molded parts fitting perfectly so getting the molds finished will take some time, but I’m on track to offer a Kickstarter for this project sometime later this year.

When designing the molds one thing I had to do was decide how to balance the upfront cone mold cost versus the end cost to make each cone.  A big factor in the cost of each cone is machine time to make them.  If I make a mode that makes one cone at a time the mold will be smaller and cheaper to make upfront, but then I can only make one cone every 30 seconds.  However, if I pay to have a mold that is twice as big made then I can get 2 cones every 30 seconds.  This makes a big difference.  For example if I’m making 2,000 cone winders and each has 10 cones that means I need 20,000 cones.  These mold machines run 24×7 so this change would basically reduce my machine time in the molding factory from 7 days to 3.5 days which saves a lot of money on machine time.  It’s pretty simple math to figure out the best option if I know exactly how many cones I need to make, but I really don’t know that since I want to make the molds before the Kickstater.  Even if I waited for the Kickstarter that’s just the demand for the first batch and if people are happy then it will continue to sell well after the Kickstarter when you tell your friends about it.  So instead of simple math I end up with too many unknown variables and no known optimal solution.  In the end I decided to go in the middle of the options I considered, and do two cones at a time even though I’m guessing 3-4 cones would have probably been better in the long term.  This is less risky since it keeps that upfront mold cost in the middle, but I still should be able to sell very high quality plastic cones at a very affordable price.

New Affiliate Program

I created a new affiliate program based on feedback the community provided a few months ago.  This program is designed so you can share links or business cards you make and earn 5% of sales (for example 5% of an EEW 6.0 is $14.45).  It’s my hope this will help people who run blogs, generate videos, or run in person events to get rewarded for talking about their EEW.  I know there are pros and cons to this kind of system, and I put a lot of checks into the system to help reduce abuse.  Also if anyone ever sees abuse of this program please let me know, but I’m pretty sure most people who use this system will use it the way it’s intended.  If you would like to earn 5% from people who purchase the items on my store when using your link then you should try out my new affiliate program.  If you’re interested this page has more information about this program.

Free 3D Printable Parts

I offer free access to various 3D files like bobbins for my different eSpinners and a bunch of other accessories.  In the past I’ve used Thingiverse to manage these files and still like them.  However, I’ve started using a new system called Printables because their interface seems better.  If you have access to a 3D printer go check out all my 3D files on Printable here and leave me a review there.  If you don’t have a 3D printer, I don’t sell these parts myself, but I let other businesses sell these files and have a list of various options here.

Product Updates

Below are just estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Nano 2 – Shipping in October
  • EEW Cone Winder – Kickstarter in 4th Quarter

Love your fiber and it will love you.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

View web version of this email

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – June 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

June 01, 2022


This month I’ve been focused on wrapping up the manufacturing plan for the EEW Nano 2 and getting the word out about my Kickstarter campaign for this new product.

The EEW Nano 2 is an ultra-portable and affordable electric spinning wheel, and it spins great yarn! It’s the perfect way to try out an eSpinner for the first time, or get another one to use for travel. It can spin cotton, silk, and all sorts of wool into gauges from fine to bulky with ease.  You can pre-order it now at a discounted price of $95.

I’m sure most of you folks here know that already! 🙂  I want to point out that the EEW Nano 2 Kickstarter has been going great.  The Kickstarter campaign will be ending on June 17 at 1pm EDT.

What is Kickstarter?

I have been using Kickstarter quite a bit, but I know a lot of people here don’t know what it is so I wanted to explain it.  In general Kickstarter is a way to pre-fund different projects ranging from art installations to watches.  There is a lot of variety in how different people and companies use it.  Sometimes people use it as a way to fund projects that are early in development and thus they might have a high amount of risk for delays or failure.  I tend to use Kickstarter after I am far along in the design and so far haven’t failed or delayed any of my EEW Kickstarters.

I generally wait until I have a nearly final prototype and lately I’ve even been making sure I have plastic molds instead of using 3d printed prototypes for my Kickstarter videos and photos.  The farther I am in the design and manufacturing of products the more certain I can be about delivery timeframe. 

Before the end of the year, I should be ready for my next Kickstarter which will be the Cone Winder.

Product Updates

Below are just estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Nano 2 – Shipping in October
  • EEW Cone Winder – Kickstarter in 4th Quarter

Love your fiber and it will love you.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

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

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – May 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

I’m considering setting up an affiliate program where I pay people a percentage of each sale on my store for those who drive traffic to my store.  If this sounds interesting to you please fill out this poll.

Bags

These pretty bags are a woven plastic like you typically find in reusable grocery bags, only these are bigger than the typical reusable bags so they can easily fit an EEW 6.0 box plus other accessories in them.  I initially planned on getting these bags as something I’d give with every order when I’m at festivals.  I figured it was better for the environment than one use bags and it would be good advertising to see a bunch of people walking around a festival with these bright bags.  Then my agent in China found a really good source with a highly automated factory for making these bags at a price lower than I thought I could get in my relatively low quantities.  With that lower price, I decided to get a bunch of extra bags and will figure out a way to sell them to people interested and look into ways to keep shipping affordable.

These are just samples, but I’m told the final ones will look the same.  It will be awhile before I have the bags.

EEW Nano 2

I was hoping to launch a Kickstarter for the EEW Nano 2 in May, but that probably isn’t going to happen.  I have all parts to make the EEW Nano 2 except the custom molded plastic parts.  I’m happy with all the different plastic parts samples I’ve gotten except the flyer.  I am working to make it as quite as possible at a price that works for the EEW Nano.  I’ve tried four different modification to the flyer so far and plan to try at least one more.  While I do love prototyping with 3D printers, this is part of the process that can’t be done with a 3D printer.  This makes each one of the experiments take a lot of time and cost me a lot of money.  But it’s worth it because to really make this a big step forward from the EEW Nano 1.x, I need the flyer to be great.

The good news is when I finally run the Kickstarter for the EEW Nano 2, it will ship a lot faster than my past Kickstarter projects since I’ll have all the parts on hand.  So I’ll just need to do assembly and then shipping.

I’m going to spend a lot of May working on the EEW Nano 2 story, videos, photos, and overall just getting the Kickstarter page looking good.  I could spend forever making a super polished video and page, but I generally setup a timeline of a few weeks and just see how good I can get the Kickstarter page and video looking in that time frame.  As in the past I’m going to try make it a good mix of presentation and information.  That said, I’m well aware my presentation value is below average for Kickstarter videos, but I’m fine with that.  I like my informative low budget style, and try to make up for presentation with good engineering, openness, and affordable prices.

Product Updates

Below are just estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Nano 2 – Kickstarter in June
  • EEW Cone Winder – Kickstarter in 4th Quarter

Happy spinning!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

View web version of this email

www.dreamingrobots.com
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EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – April 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC


Shipping Products

I’ve been very busy shipping products during the past month.  I shipped 2,600 packages for the EEW Yarn Counter Kickstarter.  I also put the EEW Yarn Counter and EEW 6.0 on my online store and I shipping many hundreds of orders of each of those.  For the Kickstarter shipping I worked with local foundation for individuals with developmental differences called Seven Hills ASPiRE.  They sent over a van with six workers and a manager.  They packaged the EEW Yarn Counters and put shipping labels on them.  I worked right along with them on that shipping project and we both learned from each other.  I was extremely happy with the results and they all were happy to have some work.  The cost was probably around what hiring my past contractors would have cost, but honestly I feel it was easier for me and the results were great.

For my store orders I did most of the shipping myself, but I am transitioning over to having a local business help with fulfillment.  I’m hoping this coming month they will handle most of my shipping so I have more time to focus on my future projects.  I have fallen behind where I wanted to be on my future projects like the EEW Nano 2 and EEW Cone Winder.  I do plan to work hard going forward to get both of those projects back on track.  Both are at stages where I’m happy with the prototypes, but I need to get both ready for manufacturing.  The EEW Nano 2 is really close to getting manufactured.  I just need to approve one final custom plastic part.  The EEW Cone Winder is just starting the process of getting ready for manufacturing.

Testimonials

I’m collecting testimonials from the community to share what you think about my products.  Would you like to participate?  These reviews will help grow the community and give new customerse the confidence to try Electric Eel Wheel products.

If you’re willing to share your experience please feel free to share a short statement (1-3 sentences), and your name by replying to this email.  You can also attach a photo of yourself if you want.  If you would like to upload a video testimonial, you can do that here.

Your feedback is really important to me and I’d love to hear from you!  I’m especially interested in EEW Nano testimonials since I’d like to share some of those in the upcoming EEW Nano 2 Kickstarter, but any product you are willing to give a testimonial for is greatly appreciated.

Product Updates

Below are just estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Nano 2 – Kickstarter in May
  • EEW Yarn Counter – Fourth Quarter 2022 Kickstarter

Happy spinning!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

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

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – March 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

March 08, 2022


EEW 6.0 and Yarn Counter Back in Stock

The EEW 6.0 and the EEW Yarn Counter are back in stock!  If you’ve been waiting to buy either of these head over to our store.  Since I’m expecting a large number of orders it may take until March 15th to ship them.  I got large batches of both of these so there should be no problem getting them.

Cone Winder Update

I released a new video how this cone winder works and go over all the improvements since the previous prototype.  Towards the end I also give an estimate of having a Kickstarter for this sometime in the second half of 2022.

New Record in Delayed Shipping

Here is an odd story.  I shipped an EEW Nano to the state of Maryland back in May 2020 (almost 2 years ago).  The package got lost so I sent a replacement which arrived in 2 days.  Just the other day the first package arrived!?!  The reason I know about it is because the customer told me they had given away the other Nano and wanted to buy this one so I gave the person a big discount and it was a win for everyone.  I’ve seen this kind of long delay and then showing up much later after I sent a package, but at 23 months this is the longest delay in delivery I’ve ever seen.  I imagine the package just fell behind a shelf somewhere and then when things get moved around it gets delivered. Overall USPS has a good delivery record and in the very rare cases where tracking shows a package just doesn’t get delivered I give the option of a refund or replacement.  The lost products are just a cost of doing business for me, but sometimes they show up much later like it did here.

Product Stock Update

Due to global shortages and increased demand several of my products are out of stock.  Below are my best estimates on availability.

  • EEW Nano 2 – June 2022 (preorders on Kickstarter in April)

Happy spinning!


– 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
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – February 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC


EEW 6.0 Level Winding Flyer

One of the most commonly requested features for the EEW 6 is a system that automatically moves the yarn hooks on the flyer.  A while ago the Level Wind Systems team, makers of the Autowind Flyers, reached out to me asking if I’d like them to make one for the EEW 6.0.  To which I said, yes!  In general I like it when other companies make accessories for the EEW community.  I just don’t have enough time to do everything you folks want so when other businesses support this community is a win for those looking for the new options being offered. There are many businesses out there making 3D printed accessories for the EEW and I view this flyer as another option for you all to consider.  I sent them some test units of the EEW 6.0 several months ago.  They have finished their design and I’ve tested it.  Overall, I’m impressed with the design. It is battery operated so the hooks move without adding any extra tension to the yarn which is an improvement over how the WooLee Winder works.  This flyer does slow down the flyer speed by about 10% in my testing due to it’s heavier weight, but if you aren’t spinning at max speed this won’t have any impact on you.  Some of the beta testers also noticed some vibrations at higher speeds, and the final design was changed to help reduce these in the final version.  CraftmeHappy wrote an in depth review about an early prototype of their flyer and you can read about it in her blog here.

Just to be completely upfront about this, I’ve had little input into the design and this is not one of my products.  While I currently make a little on each one sold because I sell them the metal spindles, making money is not my goal.  My goal with this is to let you as members of the EEW community have lots of options.  If you think this is a good fit for you then you can find the EEW 6.0 Autowinder here. If you get one I encourage you to post about it to the EEW Facebook or Ravelry group since I’m sure others will be waiting to see how it works for others.

Business Stuff

Handling business overhead is one of my least favorite tasks of running my own business.  As my business has grown I’ve actually started paying people to handle my book keeping, taxes, and shipping.  I still do all the day to day finances, but when I run into uncommon issues then I just let my bookkeeper or accountant handle them.  That said I don’t really hate this work (I just like it less than everything else) and this is an area I’ve learned the most since leaving my previous engineering job and starting this business.  This year my accountant said I’d save a lot of taxes going forward if I started filing taxes as an S Corporation.  I won’t bore you with the details, but because of how tax rules are structured in the US I can pay a bunch of money to handle more complex tax filing, and then save even more money than I’ve spent on these things in lower taxes.  It’s not at all the kind of efficient system I like, but it is the system I have.  Changing to an S Corporation only makes sense for certain businesses once they reach a certain size to cover the overhead and I passed that size several years ago.  I just keep putting off going to these more complex tax laws because I didn’t want to do all the extra work.  I am setting things up now so my annual amount of time spent on these things won’t be much more than the old systems, but I will have to pay others to do extra work each year.  Some examples of things I need to do is keeping accurate quarterly accounting records, filing new quarterly taxes, filing payroll, and filling out two full sets sets of taxes each year instead of just an extra form that gets appended to my personal taxes.  This one time task of setting up all the changes to my business infrastructure for the new tax laws was a large portion of my work this month.  Thankfully it is done now.

In addition to all the setup for S Corporations, I also found a new insurance company that gave me a significantly lower rate of insurance.  I’m used to spending some time each month on business things, but I try to structure it so the amount of time is pretty low so I have more time to work on my products.  This month was definitely an outlier in how much time I spent with these things.  These are the required parts of running an efficient small business that most people don’t talk about because it’s kind of boring.  Hope it wasn’t too boring to read about it here, but I don’t bring up this stuff often so I thought this month was a good time to pull back the curtain just a little at the less glamorous side of a small business.  I think it’s good to know about these things since all these little reworks do end up getting factored into the final price of a product.  I do my best to keep my overhead as low as possible to make my products more affordable for you.

Product Stock Update

Due to global shortages and increased demand several of my products are out of stock.  Below are my best estimates on availability.

  • EEW 6.0 – Early March 2022
  • EEW Yarn Counter – Early March 2022
  • EEW Nano 2 – May 2022 (preorders on Kickstarter in March)

Happy spinning!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

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

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – January 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

January 01, 2022


Happy New Year everyone!

2021 was a great year for Dreaming Robots and the Electric Eel Wheel line of fiber tools.  The EEW 6.0 started shipping and is currently my favorite eSpinner.  I also had record sales even though I messed up inventory and was out of all my eSpinners during November and December (sorry to those of you this affected).  The engineer in me loves to see the products I make getting used by a lot of people.  A lot of my time when into taking a very early proof of concept prototype of the EEW Yarn Counter to having the final version manufactured.  These yarn meters still haven’t shipped yet, but they will soon.

The EEW community had huge growth this year and there are now many people posting online about these products daily.  I love how much my tools have helped the fiber community and look forward to making 2022 even more exciting!

EEW Pro

I mentioned back in November that this is going to be a high end eSpinner and I had a poll, which a huge number of you folks filled out to help me figure out what features are most important.  I’ve been working on figuring out several of the highly rated features in that poll.  I don’t want to talk about it much yet since I don’t want to get hopes too high before I’m sure this project will work, but I will say I’m happy with how early testing has been going.  This product is the biggest new project I’ve undertaken and is probably 2+ years from being complete.  If you are on the fence between waiting for this or getting the EEW 6.0, I’d really suggest getting an EEW 6.0 when they get back in stock.  The EEW 6.0 is a great eSpinner and this is a long ways away plus it will be a lot more expensive.

This is my current engineering drawings of the EEW Pro prototype I’ve been creating.

I probably won’t talk about this much more until I have more substantial information to share, but I wanted to mention it here in case there is someone out there who wants to help with the visual appearance.  Ideally someone who has experience with product design, but anyone with a good eye and the ability to sketch out their ideas can apply.  I’m constructing a very functional prototype, but it isn’t the a visually appealing design.  Making it more beautiful will have very minimal impact on the cost since the base is mostly injection molded plastic parts.  It would be nice if someone could help me modify the functional design into something prettier.  I don’t want to just completely open up this design right now because there are many requirements in the design both from what is manufacturable and from what I want to include functionally.  Explaining all this will take a lot of my time so I’m hoping to select just one or two people to work with on this beautification task.  If you’re selected and give me substantial ideas on how to improve the design at a minimum I’ll give you a free one of the products when it is released, but I’d also consider paying for services if you have experience in this field.  If you want to apply just send an email with your experience, payment requirements, and whatever else you think might convince me to choose you.

Product Stock Update

Due to global shortages and increased demand several of my products are out of stock. I moved arrival of the EEW 6.0 and EEW Yarn Counter in by a month from last month since I have a pretty high confidence I’ll be able to start shipping these in February. This confidence is because the shipping container with these products has left it’s port and is on it’s way to Boston.  When I do get them in stock it will be a big batch and there should be enough for everyone who wants one.

  • EEW 6.0 – February 2022
  • EEW Yarn Counter – February 2022
  • EEW Nano 2 – April 2022

Building Update

I was really hoping to have the building in a state that I could move into it in December, but that didn’t happen.  I’m really happy with the quality of it, but progress has been slower than expected due to certain items taking longer to deliver than expected and a new permitting schedule mistake.  The building looks pretty similar to what it did last month except it now has a metal roof and is mostly wired on the inside.  I’ll just take this a month at a time now and see where we’re at next month. When it gets done I’ll put together a video showing it’s construction and the final product.

Smile today and give your fiber a hug!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

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