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 Woolee Winder Yes No Maybe So
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kitkatknit
Chatty Knitter

184 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2005 :  12:07:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit kitkatknit's Homepage Send kitkatknit a Private Message
Before I push the order button, can everyone that uses the Woolee Winder tell me if it's worth the $$$ putting one on my Ashford Joy? Is it going to do more for me than evenly distribute the singles over the bobbin shaft? I've read ALL the WW entries here at KR, plus some other reviews on the web. Most were old. Any new comments now that everyone has more Woolee Winder mileage? thanks

http://spaces.msn.com/members/joyofspin/

RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2005 :  12:09:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
It's extremely convenient to not have to stop and move the yarn on the hooks or slide (can't remember which the Joy has). Because you don't have to keep an eye on things there, you can spin faster (stopping fewer times). Many folks also find they can get more on a bobbin - I have not had this experience, but I was apparently born with some savant-like bobbin packing genes - and folks like that.

Is it the be-all-to-end-all of spinning? No. Is it a nice gadget to have? Yes.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2005 :  12:27:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
Like thousands of others, I think it's worth its weight in gold - never have to stop to move a hook, no dead space on the bobbin, very smooth.

Lissa

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. -- George Orwell


Oh, and I now have a blog:http://knittnlissa.typepad.com/knittnlissa/
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sweetgeorgia
Chatty Knitter

Canada
101 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2005 :  12:32:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit sweetgeorgia's Homepage Send sweetgeorgia a Private Message
Hey there! I have a Woolee Winder for my Ashford Joy and love love love it. I just wish the bobbins weren't so expensive, but whatever. Yes, it distributes the singles evenly over the entire bobbin and this means saving time from having to stop the wheel, move to a new hook, and restart. You can also fill more on a bobbin AND the WW bobbins are bigger than regular Joy bobbins.

Is there anything that is the be-all-end-all spinning gadget?!? We need them all, don't we? =)

http://sweetgeorgia.planetfishdesign.com
http://sweetgeorgia.etsy.com
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spindyerella
Seriously Hooked

601 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2005 :  1:41:38 PM  Show Profile Send spindyerella a Private Message
Buy it! You won't regret it! Lissa is right; the thing is worth its weight in gold.
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petiteflower
Chatty Knitter

USA
297 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2005 :  4:05:21 PM  Show Profile Send petiteflower a Private Message
I have a different opinion of the woolee winder (WW), just to add some texture to this discussion.

I tried out an electric spinner that had a WW on it and the thing was clicking and clacking every time it changed direction. Also there was a slight speed-up when it changed direction. They might not all act like this, I'm thinking mine was a lemon because otherwise why would everybody else like theirs so much?

Yep, it winds the yarn on nice and even, and yep you don't have to change hooks. But I have yet to meet the fiber that doesn't have something I want to pick out of it every so often and more often than not I end up stopping the wheel to pluck it out. Also, I like to check on how I'm doing every now and then, and hook-changing time is a good time to do this. I already spin pretty fast so I don't think the WW adds all that much to my speed, since I end up stopping the wheel anyway for this and that. And I spin on the finer side so I'm not changing hooks lickety split anyway.

As far as other benefits besides zero hook changing, I really don't see where the absolutely evenly wound bobbin is that much of a big plus. It kind of looks nice and neat, but so does a nicely wound bobbin done the old fashioned hook-changing way. Maybe you can pack more on there, but is that bit of extra capacity worth the price of the WW to you?

There is also this to consider: weigh the truly scant time you save changing hooks against the time it takes to remove the WW's delicate tiny innards periodically so you can clean out the collected fiber dust. The innards have to be kept lightly oiled, so fiber dust is going to cling in there. Have you seen the teensy weensy screwdriver that comes with a WW for taking apart the innards? It seems very fussy to me. The little spring and cogs and screws....they all seem flimsy to me.

I also am not fond of the appearance of the WW. Wouldn't want it on one of my traditional wheels. I DO like the CONCEPT of it for use with an electric spinner but I think there are some other variations out there that accomplish level winding but don't have to be dismantled for cleaning. The Marg electric spinner level winds and though I haven't studied it closely, I can tell from what I HAVE seen that it is different from the WW. Still, it would be very low on my list of priorities, because I know that no matter what, I am going to be stopping from time to time to check up on the quality of my work and to remove the odd bits of debris from my fiber.

And it is a pricey doo-dad, a high price to pay for saving the effort of changing hooks. But if you really really HATE HATE HATE changing hooks THAT much then by all means get one.
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2005 :  4:56:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
For me, the issue isn't about time, it's about interruption. I can just spin and spin and spin, without having to continually stop to adjust. The WWs clack a bit if you completely release the tension on the yarn - I learned quickly to retain the teeniest tension on my yarn as I feed it onto the bobbin - no clack. It needs just a tiny bit of oil, and then, only rarely. I've never, in the three years I've had WWs (2 years for my Fricke, almost a year on my Lendrum), I've never had to take them apart and clean them. And since I hate joining yarn when I'm knitting, the 20% or so more yarn I get on a bobbin is valuable to me.

Lissa

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. -- George Orwell


Oh, and I now have a blog:http://knittnlissa.typepad.com/knittnlissa/
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Cayli1
Seriously Hooked

USA
635 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2005 :  5:09:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Cayli1's Homepage Send Cayli1 a Private Message
I have a WW for my Joy and would not be without it. I love it. To me it was worth every penny I paid for it. The bobbins are alot bigger than the stardard Joy ones so you get alot more on each one even if you are good at packing it on.



Cayli in San Diego

My Finshed Knitting and Spinning

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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purlwise
Chatty Knitter

259 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2005 :  7:15:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlwise's Homepage Send purlwise a Private Message
Thanks petiteflower. I've been wondering about getting one and have seen all the wonderful comments but have hesitated because of the cost of changing over. I already have six Schacht bobbins and would hate to see that investment go down the drain. I've always suspected, that for me, it wouldn't make much of a difference. You've given some good reasons why it might not be right for everyone.

Regards,
Melinda
www.purlwise.com
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2005 :  9:52:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
"I already have six Schact bobbins and would hate to see that investment go down the drain"

Precicely why Ebay was invented!

Lissa

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. -- George Orwell


Oh, and I now have a blog:http://knittnlissa.typepad.com/knittnlissa/
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purlwise
Chatty Knitter

259 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2005 :  12:56:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlwise's Homepage Send purlwise a Private Message
That's true Lissa, I could sell the bobbins on Ebay but I don't think I'll get enough to pay for the Woolee Winder and five bobbins ($279).

Regards,
Melinda
www.purlwise.com
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petiteflower
Chatty Knitter

USA
297 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2005 :  6:01:02 PM  Show Profile Send petiteflower a Private Message
If you have a wheel that has an inferior flyer/bobbin assembly then maybe the WW is a better deal than getting a whole new wheel providing you like everything else about your wheel. However, with the Schacht wheel that purlwise has, you already have an incredibly well-designed, perfectly balanced and whisper quiet flyer. Your bobbins are nice and roomy, and you've got hooks that are placed alternately on each flyer arm which give you 12 (that's a ton!!) hooks to change to as you work your way across filling the bobbin. You are down to the time saved changing hooks as the reason to need the WW. Time yourself and you will see that this is a tiny speck of time. Hey, maybe we could all multi-task, and say a little prayer for world peace and harmony every time we change hooks.
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Manicgirl
Chatty Knitter

Sweden
203 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2005 :  01:55:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Manicgirl's Homepage Send Manicgirl a Private Message
I've never tried the WW, but I also like the idea of it. What I don't like is that I need a different flyer for different wheels. I guess it's fine if you have only one wheel (likce Schacht or Ashford) but if you have different ones, you'd need a new expensive WW for each and everyone - if you like the WW that much that is.

Is there no money-back guarantee, if you don't like it, you can return it? I think it sounds like a very big investement, I'd want to be totally sure before I get one.

Tina
(My blog: http://ulltopia.typepad.com/wooltopia)
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Shelia
Permanent Resident

USA
2357 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2005 :  06:58:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message
I haven't seen anyone mention my favorite use for a WW - plying! While I do agree that the cost is significant, especially when you buy a few bobbins, I am happy to have one that fits my Majacraft wheels (I have 3 models, and it fits them all) and it really packs the yarn on so that I can ply the maximum amount without breaking the yarn. I know that there are some wheels that have more noise or fiddling around when using them, but my Majacraft WW is very quiet, and works perfectly, no need to keep constant tension on it and absolutely no fiber build-up in the mechanism. I think the ease of use may depend on the type of wheel you have, each model is made specifically to work with the wheel and the type of flyer it is replacing.

All of that being said, I think that it is just a nice extra if you have a wheel that works well and spins smoothly. I do much of my singles on wheels that don't have WW's available (a Norm Hall and a Lennox), and don't miss it. They are both production wheels, and spin fast, at fast ratios, but I don't mind pausing to move from hook to hook. When spinning fast, it's nice to take short breaks, and changing hooks reminds me to do that.

Shelia
www.letstalkstash.blogspot.com
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2005 :  08:42:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
That's funny, Sheila - I don't use mine for plying, because I can get a much bigger skein on my bulky head than I can on the WW.

Lissa

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. -- George Orwell


Oh, and I now have a blog:http://knittnlissa.typepad.com/knittnlissa/
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spindyerella
Seriously Hooked

601 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2005 :  09:30:54 AM  Show Profile Send spindyerella a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by petiteflower

If you have a wheel that has an inferior flyer/bobbin assembly then maybe the WW is a better deal than getting a whole new wheel providing you like everything else about your wheel. However, with the Schacht wheel that purlwise has, you already have an incredibly well-designed, perfectly balanced and whisper quiet flyer. Your bobbins are nice and roomy, and you've got hooks that are placed alternately on each flyer arm which give you 12 (that's a ton!!) hooks to change to as you work your way across filling the bobbin. You are down to the time saved changing hooks as the reason to need the WW. Time yourself and you will see that this is a tiny speck of time. Hey, maybe we could all multi-task, and say a little prayer for world peace and harmony every time we change hooks.



I have a Schacht and have a WW on it. Yes, the flyer that came with the wheel is nice enough, but I much prefer spinning with the WW in place for all the same reasons Lissa pointed out.
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Lanea
Permanent Resident

USA
5189 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2005 :  09:32:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message
All this woolee winder talk sent me to their website, where I found a pretty nice guarantee:
http://www.thewooleewinder.com/ (button in top bar gets you there)
"If you don't agree that your WooLee Winder is one of the best spinning equipment purchases you ever made, simply contact me for information on how to return it for a full refund of your purchase price."

That seems nice, doesn't it? It makes me want to buy a WW for the wheel I don't yet have. Sigh.

Support our Yarniversal charities: http://www.cafepress.com/yarniversalcult
http://crazylanea.typepad.com/
http://www.crazylanea.typepad.com/eating_poetry/
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2005 :  10:17:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
Nathan's terrific - really good customer service. I once was in the middle of a mini-feud of best customer service between Nathan and Jo Fricke - the device wasn't working right, and Jo and Nathan were fighting over who should have to deal with it: "You bought it from me, so I'm responsible for getting it fixed for you. Send it to ME." "She's just going to send it to me to be fixed, so send it right to ME." While they were debating who should have to field the thing, Nathan gave me some tips for adjustments, and the problem worked itself out. Dueling customer service attempts - how often does THAT happen?

Lissa

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. -- George Orwell


Oh, and I now have a blog:http://knittnlissa.typepad.com/knittnlissa/
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