Thursday, November 19, 2015

How to Clean a Squeaky Wheel

I finally finished plying most of the pound of teal fiber I bought over three years ago.  There is just one partial bobbin that has a thicker single than the rest, so I've set that aside for now.

Clearer photo
The reason this fiber took so long to ply, never mind spin, is that my Louet S-10 had become a squeaky wheel.  It sat around unused for so long, it developed a very loud, complaining sound, and every time I tried to ply, it was pitiful and painful to hear.

I thought it probably needed oiling, even though the S-10 supposedly is made in such a way that it never needs oiling.

An expert spinner friend of mine agreed it needed oiling, so I went on the hunt for some wheel oil at the nearest fiber festival a few weeks ago.


No one had any wheel oil for sale, and I was feeling frustrated, until friend Elisa guided me toward yet another woman spinning away at her booth.

I explained my situation and the wheel in question, and she said (and I paraphrase), "You don't need oil.  Just take a wet wipe and wipe down all the parts where dust has probably settled, and that should solve the problem."  She even offered me a wipe.  People are so generous!

I said I would use just a damp paper towel or something, and she said it would be better to use something with a little more cleaning power than plain water.

Closer to the actual color
I am well-stocked with wipes myself, so I came home, grabbed a couple of wipes, carefully removed the bobbin with the partially plied strands of singles coming off the other two bobbins, and wiped down wherever anything joined or poked into anything else.  Twice.  Then I carefully put everything back together, with only minor tangling and cursing, and it really worked well.  Still a bit of squeaking, but nothing so painful as before.

Now that I am done plying, I am going to give the wheel another cleaning.

And now I have hundreds of yards of what appears to be fingering weight yarn--yippee!

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