Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Process Not Product
Here is the physical manifestation of Saturday night: approx. 150 yds of very soft Merino in a thick single ply.
The biggest challenge in getting the bike/spinning wheel combination to work was to make it so that a person could pedal at a normal rate without making the bobbin spin too fast. The bike guys kept saying, "we need to gear it down!" We (they) spent hours thinking up ways of doing that but it always ended with the need for something to be made that was impossible given the timeframe (48 hours) and the budget ($0). Finally, one guy grabbed a dremel tool and engraved a groove in the hub of the rear wheel very carefully while someone else pedaled. Then, he filed it in a similar way. And voila! A beautiful, elegant, simple solution. We put the drive band into the groove of the wheel and connected it to my wheel and there are basically a 1:1 spin ratio. In fact, you actually had to pedal fast to make it work. I wouldn't use SpinCycle for any of the shorter staple fibres - the speed is too slow (just in case you were thinking of creating your own - stick with the long staple fibres, like Merino). A technical point, but important nonetheless.
People have been asking what I plan to do with the yarn. I think my answer is nothing. I will label it and begin an archive of skeins produced in this most wonderful manner.