Where is the end on my bobbin?

26 Tower of Bobbins!We've all had it happen to us ... spinning merrily away, and then Snap the end breaks and as quickly as we can stop, it's whipped onto the bobbin and disappeared. Oh No, how to find it?

Here are some ways to find the lost end on a bobbin:
  • a piece of tape, see if you can lift off the end by ‘patting’ the yarn on the bobbin with the tape
  • a toothbrush (clean and dry ;-) ) see if you can brush off the end by gently brushing the surface
  • pick a likely strand and follow it around (maybe open up a paperclip and slide it under it, then rotate around). If a strand goes on top of your strand, switch to the upper one (this sometimes doesn’t work, though, if the end has gotten entirely embedded …)

And here are some ways to make it easier to find the end, done while spinning:
  • have a regular pattern of movement on the hooks or of the slider (Ashfords have hooks; Lendrums have sliders ... Louets, well, it depends on the Louet ;-) ) ... if you have a WooLee Winder, then there's a regular pattern already. This will let you know where to expect to find the end, reducing your search area.
  • if you are spinning fine, besides filling from front to back (or from back to front), consider laying down a life-line at the end of each pass -- a strip of paper about 1/2-1" wide and as long as your bobbin is, on top of the pass. It may be a little fiddly to lay down, but once you have a round or two on it, it should stay. Heck, try a post-it note if you want it to be self-stick, just test that it won't rough up your yarn too much. The next pass will be on top of the strip, so your end can't get too deeply embedded.
    A Majacraft "plying" bobbin
  • change hooks often enough that big ridges don't build up -- definitely not so much that they start collapsing on themselves, that can be a right mess!
  • Another way to create a life line is to fill from front to back, then bring the strand directly to the front again from the back -- this long swipe down the bobbin creates a self-life-line, but it's not as easy to find and utilize as the paper method.

Do you have end-finding tips for bobbins? Pass them along, before this happens to me again ;-) Thanks!!


gemma said...

Thanks Amelia, you could not post this one yesterday???? (combination of fine spinning,new kitten, grumpy old cat, and one kid, you get the picture)

Grizzly Mountain Arts said...

Wow! What a great blog! We were recently asked to make some nalbinding needles and are doing some blog reading to learn more about this fascinating fiber art.

mel said...

Thank you so much for sharing these tricks! A friend pointed me to you, and this post was a sanity saver after I completely buried an end last night! Thank you thank you!

Amelia of Ask The Bellwether said...

Some new ideas for this came up on Ravelry today, here:

The one that was new to me, was: "Spin your wheel quickly in the other direction -- sometimes the end will come flying out from the bobbin then." That's a great idea! Non-invasive, and it just might do the trick.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article! The tape worked:)