How Many Bobbins Do I Need?

"My name is Amelia, and I have too many bobbins" ... that could be my opener at the 12-step meeting. You see, I cleaned out my storage hamper the other day. But wait, I need to digress further. I've been trying to figure out, what the right number of bobbins per wheel is.

Blanche and RodneySpinOlution bobbins on KateMy latest determination is that 5 is a good number -- usually, even if I'm three-plying, I can get a bobbin empty of finished yarn. That Will Taylor skeiner really helps with that, too -- the niddy-noddy was about to give my shoulder permanent tendonitis. Even looking at a Mach 1 bobbin makes it ache at the thought!

But now I digress too far.

Pocket Wheel and bobbinsSo, I got a Pocket Wheel and asked for five bobbins to go with it (I *totally* forgot that DD's Pocket had 3 bobbins already, so really I could have made do with the default 3 and borrowed from DD, who spins singles and calls them done, one bobbin at a time. Ah well.) So, I special-ordered a 4-bobbin Horizontal Kate from Alexandra to (a) see how the Horizontal stacked up to the Will Taylor Clever Kate for plying and (b) store all the bobbins for my Pocket. Totally a birthday present, so of course I got a nice wood (Alder) rather than a stained one. It's lovely!

The Tool HamperWell, having the 4-bobbin Kate with only 3 bobbins on it was irking me, and also led me to thinking, I must be able to put all my Majacraft bobbins on my 6-bobbin Kate, so let's clean out the tool hamper to find the missing bobbin and re-locate all the Majacraft bobbins. The final tally? Pocket Bobbins: 0, Majacraft Bobbins: 11. Eeek.

But let me explain: 2 are plying bobbins, 2 are standard bobbins (1 was on the wheel at the time), and 6 are WooLee Winder bobbins. I guess I was afraid of running out. And I'm not counting the two old-style plying bobbins I listed on the Ravelry Spinner's Marketplace pages. (ETA: I traded them ... for two more plastic Majacraft bobbins, grin!)

Luckily, I had replaced one of the brass bobbin holders on the front of my Majacraft Alpaca Wheel with a longer steel rod so I could fit 3 bobbins on that side, and 2 on the standard brass bobbin holder. That's 5. Eleven minus five is: six! yay! So here you have it:

Majacraft and (gulp) all its bobbins

I know I am in good company, however. Teyani once told me she had nine (or was it eleven?) for her Schacht Matchless. And many others tell me that three is never enough, six is good because you can do all your 3-plying from 3 full bobbins without stopping to empty a bobbin. On a thread in Spinning Knitters, it was suggested that 30 bobbins was a good number to keep on hand (wow!)

And now, I must go back to looking for that missing Pocket Wheel bobbin ...

How many bobbins do you like to have for your wheel, and why?


Related posts:

Which Lazy Kate?
Where is the End on my Bobbin?
What's a SpinOlution?
What do you teach in Plying Around?
Why does my yarn drift apart when I'm plying?


Sue said...

I have three bobbins for my Matchless, but only ever use one. (Really!) I like to ply from re-wound bobbins, so I wind off the wheel bobbin onto a cardboard storage bobbin and ply from those. I have six cardboard bobbins.

yasmin said...

I have six standard bobbins for my Tom,

eight regular bobbins, one big bobbin and two very fast bobbins for my Lendrum Folding,

and I will have seven standard and three high speed bobbins for the Victoria I will be getting for Christmas.

I like to have at least six standard bobbins per wheel, especially since I have kids who use to seize one or two bobbins each with their projects.
I do a lot of 3ply sock yarn, so five bobbins is the absolute minimum.

Bobbie Wallace said...

I have a Lendrum; six regular bobbins (and wish I had about 6 more!) and one huge plying bobbin which I've only used a couple of times.

Margaret said...

This might make you feel better. I recently bought a used Matchless that came with 13(!) bobbins, eight regular and five hi-speed. I have five regular, three fat-core, and one plying bobbin for the Lendrum. And my Pipy saxony came with five very cool brass core bobbins. So, you seem to have a reasonable number of bobbins to me :)

Laurie said...

OH dear. I think I have six Schacht Matchless bobbins. But it really doesn't matter because I have a whole honking load of Leclerc plastic storage bobbins and a bobbin winder.

Leclercs are about $3 each.