SpinzillaTips for your wheel

Anne Podlesak's knitted designs regularly appear in Spin-Off and Jane Austen Knits. She is an indie dyer, designer, knitter, spinner and all-around fiber fanatic. She owns Wooly Wonka Fibers on the web and you can also find her on Ravelry as "bunnyspinner."  We've invited her to share with you some tips for getting the most out of your wheel when you have a lot of yarn to spin in a short period of time.

Anne Podlesak: Are you participating in the Spinzilla challenge in October? If you are gearing up to spin lots of yardage, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your wheel during the competition.

  • Take time to give your wheel a thorough going-over. Double-check that everything is running smoothly with no squeaks, clunks, or other odd noises.
  • Take apart your flyer, wipe everything down to remove oil and dust from any of the moving parts, and re-lubricate as necessary.
  • Check your drive band and/or brake band. Are they frayed or looking worn out? If so, replace these before the competition starts so you don't have any surprise breaks.
  • Consider making yourself a wheel emergency kit, just in case. Pick up an extra drive band. Add in your oil bottle, an orifice hook, and if your wheel uses Allen wrenches or a screwdriver to tighten parts, add those in the correct sizes to your kit. You might also wish to throw in a notebook and pencil so you can jot down any notes as you spin. A WPI gauge is also a great tool to include.
  • Have a designated place where you have all your fleece, roving, batts, etc. ready to go near your wheel; find everything you need to get spinning, without having to dig through storage bins to try to find fiber you've stashed.
  • Make sure you have a comfortable, supportive chair, to help maintain good posture and body mechanics while spinning. Having a good light source is a great help to preventing fatigue, too.
  • Don't over-do! Be sure to take plenty of breaks, do some shoulder, arm and wrist stretching, and stand up and take a short walk, to be sure you aren't causing any over-use injuries.
  • Above all—HAVE FUN! Whether your plan of attack is intense or more casual, any spinning competition should be all about fun.

So make your plans, get your wheel ready to go, and mark the week of October 7th through 12th on your calendars for Spinzilla!

—Anne

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