How should I use the hooks on my flyer?

full bobbinBy Amelia

A new spinner and member of Spin-List recently asked for advice on when to change the hook their yarn was using coming from the bobbin out to the orifice.

Here are my tips on changing hooks -- I should point out, these are advice only, as there aren't any hard-and-fast rules.
  • change hooks before the little hill that builds up starts to collapse.
  • develop a pattern, that way if you lose your end, you know about where to look for it.
  • when spinning fine, I like to move from hook-to-hook, front-to-back, but when I'm at the back-most hook, I don't start going hook-by-hook to the front, rather, I come right across to the front-most hook from the back-most. This gives me a "lifeline" I can use if I should snap the yarn and lose it on the bobbin
  • try to build up the bobbin evenly; if you build it up unevenly, it may chatter on the flyer rod a little from having extra weight on one end or the other
  • if you have hooks on both sides of one face of the flyer, try using hooks on each side -- often they are off-set so you can build up in-between the hills of one side's hooks, using the other side's hooks
  • when you come out to a hook on the flyer arm, come out to that hook, be sure to be outside the other hooks coming forward to the orifice (your yarn will rest in all the other hooks, that is to say, not be in front of them or wrapped around them), especially the last hook -- if you miss that last hook, your yarn rubs against the edge of the bobbin. Then go through the orifice and out to the fiber
  • a paper clip, unfolded except for the smallest fold, makes a great emergency orifice hook if you need onev
  • when you want to stop, find a convenient spot on your wheel to wrap your singles around so they don't lose twist; good candidates might be the scotch tension knob if it's near the front of your wheel, or even coming back to the hooks on the flyer and wrapping around them.
Now, you can be completely random, and forgetful -- the worst that will happen is your bobbin will be a bit of a mess -- be careful when taking the yarn off the bobbin then, as you don't want to snap and break the yarn due to the bobbin stopping unexpectedly and trapping the yarn.

I hope this helps on your spinning journey. If you have a spinning wheel flyer hook tip or question, feel free to share it in the comments on this blog post.

I've done a variety of posts in the past about bobbins on wheels, if you'd like to look into this further, they are:

How can I fit more yarn on my bobbin?
When is my bobbin half full?
How many bobbins do I need?
Where is the end on my bobbin?
Which lazy kate?
What tips do you have for spinning lace?
Will winding singles off my spindle or bobbin into a skein hurt the twist?

That full bobbin at the top of the page? That's my SpinOlution Bee Travel Wheel, bobbin stuffed with 4 ounces of fingering weight 2-ply. The fiber was the last bit of Mint Chocolate Triple Play I had in the house from Crosspatch Creations. My plans for the yarn are fingerless gloves - yummy!
© 19 August 2009 Amelia Garripoli. Posted on

1 comment:

Unknown said...

A member of the spinning guild in Chicago passed this tip on to me:

Add a small dot of Velcro (the hook side, obviously) to your wheel. Mine is just under my tension knob, so I can wrap my singles around the knob and then stick them to the Velcro to keep them taut and secure. Use high-contrasting Velcro if you have trouble spotting it, or something that blends with your wheel to be discreet.