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How Your Spinning Wheel Spins, Scotch Tension

Scotch Tension

Spinning wheels also have some sort of brake or tension mechanism for controlling the speed at which the yarn is drawn onto the bobbin. If you are a beginner spinner, and your wheel seems to be eating up your roving, before you have had a chance to draft it properly, you will want to slow your wheel down a bit. Most wheels only require very small adjustments to the brake.

Tighten the Brake

Move the Drive band back to the largest setting on the whorl. Treadle slowly and spin a few yards onto the bobbin.
Turn the scotch tension or brake on your wheel 1/4 turn to the right (or in the direction that tightens the brake of your wheel).

Treadle again and spin a few yards. Do you notice that the yarn is being drawn onto the bobbin more quickly?

Tighten the tension again another 1/4 turn and treadle.

Repeat the above step, tightening the tension 1/4 turn each time, until the wheel is drawing the yarn too quickly for you to handle.

Loosen the Brake

Turn the brake 1/4 turn to the left, loosening the tension slightly. Again, treadle and spin a few yards. Repeat the above steps, loosening the tension 1/4 turn each time, until the bobbin is no longer drawing the yarn in.

You should now be able to adjust the tension of the brake to a comfortable spinning speed for you. As the bobbin fills, slight adjustments to the brake will be necessary to keep the wheel spinning at the correct speed.

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Spinning Wheels
About Handspinning
Hand spinning Tools and Equipment

Handspinning Books: Spinning Exotic Yarns

The Intentional Spinner
Offering a blend of technical knowledge, history, and easy-to-use tips, this inspiring collection of spinning wisdom deftly explores the three fundamental areas of yarn production: understanding fibers, managing yarn structure, and making yarns that precisely meet the spinner’s needs.
UK: Intentional Spinner

Spin Control
Focusing at first on the spinning wheel, emphasis is placed on the importance of adjusting and customizing the wheel for best results.
UK: Spin Control

Intertwined: The Art of Handspun Yarn, Modern Patterns, and Creative Spinning (Handspun Revolution)
Experimental, handspun yarns, and includes recipes for handspun yarns, project ideas for knitters and crocheters, tips on how to use one-of-a-kind handspun yarns
UK: Intertwined

Spinning Wheels

 

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This page last edited on November 27, 2015

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