Another blog post, another Tour de Fleece update. Since last I posted, I've finished up the singles of my Crown Mountain Farms BFL and started to ply. I haven't plied on my Lendrum in a while, so the biggest challenge has been remembering to move the yarn guide from time to time -- I guess I've been getting too used to the WooLee Winder on my miniSpinner! I got about halfway done last night and plan on finishing up the skein this evening.
I've also been making good progress on finishing up the second half of the cashmere/silk on my Bosworth spindle. I've been taking it into work this week to do some spinning during my lunch break, and I took it to knit night last night, so I should be able to finish up this half very soon. It's rather amazing that it took seven months to spin up the first ounce and the second ounce will be done in a matter of days.
There has been one little complication in my TdF spinning, however. On Sunday afternoon, having just finished up a skein on the miniSpinner the previous evening, I decided it would be a good idea to finally take apart the WooLee Winder and clean it before I started the next project on the wheel. Though this is something you're supposed to do from time to time, I'd been naughty and hadn't done it once since I got the wheel (I know, I know). It was really filthy and clearly needed a good cleaning. I got it degunked as best I could, carefully following the directions, and then put it back together. When I tried to spin again, however, I discovered that it was not working, so clearly something was wrong.
After allergies kept me awake nearly all of Sunday night, I called in sick on Monday morning and went back to bed after dropping Rainbow off at daycare. When I woke from this long nap, I decided to give it another go. I pulled out the directions again and once again took apart the WooLee Winder, cleaned out even more gunk, and then put it back together again. This time, the pieces seemed to be where they should have been, but there are still some idiosyncrasies. For one thing, if I screw in the fixed yarn guide all the way so that it is flush with the flyer, the gears on the WW will not turn, so I have it unscrewed a bit (meaning there's now a space between the yarn guide and the flyer where stuff could conceivably get stuck). When I spin, the WW is also a bit erratic in that there are times when it seems the yarn is not winding on and then it will suddenly lurch ahead and jerk the yarn a bit. Needless to say, this is really frustrating. I've posted in the miniSpinner group on Ravelry, and it seems at least one other person has had a similar experience. It sounds like the only possible solution might be sending the thing to Nathan Lee (the inventor and maker of the WooLee Winder) to fix. I think I may try to hold off until after the Tour de Fleece, because the yarn I'm currently trying to spin is meant to be used for my Ravellenic Games project, but it's starting to sound like there might not be another option. This is what I get for trying to clean!