Yarn twisted into knots but not drawn onto bobbin.

This post has 5 Replies | 5 Followers
Not Ranked
Posts 1
Sami P. wrote
on Jan 13, 2011 5:57 PM


   I'm new to spinning and have a Saxony double drive wheel which does not even draw up yarn hanging free, but it sure does twist it. The bobbin and flyer appear to be moving together. I have taken the flyer out, lightly sanded the shaft under the bobbin and oiled it. I have also changed the drive belt and the tension, from loosey goosey to very tight. Any suggestions? 

    I have been looking for a teacher in Sonoma County but no on uses a double drive wheel. I will be very grateful for any help. Thanks.

Stymied Sami



Not Ranked
Posts 1
KarenDI wrote
on May 9, 2011 8:06 AM

Hi, Sami--

I use a double drive Ashford Traditional, and I have had similar problems with take-up from time to time. I find that I get the very best take-up when there's a big difference in ratios between bobbin and flyer. In addition, I find that I need to keep adjusting the drive band as the cop gets larger: when I start out, I use just enough tension so that the yarn gets taken up, but not so much that it's ripped out of my hand. As I go along, I tighten the drive band a tiny bit as needed, usually when I stop to change flyer hooks.

Is it possible to use a Scotch tension on your wheel? Mine is "convertible," and I do find that while I like the double drive for most applications, I can use Scotch tension to get really vigorous take-up in certain situations, like when I'm plying.

I hope this info is useful to you!


Top 10 Contributor
Posts 560
on May 9, 2011 10:00 AM

Little things can effect what you are trying to do. Double drive are set up for subtle changes. Check a few thing first (I'm sure you already have). I am guessing the stray fiber on the hooks is eliminated. Let's move on to the next theory: something may not be set up properly. This isn't rocket science, but if something is out of whack or backwards, the rest won't work.

From New Voyager Trading is a check-list of the steps that need to happen.

  • foot or feet actuate the treadle(s);
  • treadle movement causes footman to rise and fall;
  • footman pulls/pushes the crank on the drive wheel axle causing the wheel to rotate;
  • the drive wheel rotation will cause the drive band, if tensioned properly, to travel around the circumference of the wheel;
  • the moving drive band will cause the flyer mechanism to rotate if properly tensioned;
  • the drive band interacts with both the whorl and the bobbin pulley independently, causing both to rotate if properly tensioned; these 2 parts can and will rotate independently of one another; different revolutions per minute (rpm);
  • when yarn is secured to the bobbin core and routed through the flyer orifice and held securely in a spinner's hands, the flyer and the bobbin will rotate in sync, locked together by the yarn between bobbin and flyer; the drive band on the bobbin pulley is actually slipping because of the "U" shape;
  • when the spinner allows twisted yarn to advance into the orifice a degree of tension is released on the yarn allowing the lock of the bobbin and flyer to break;  the bobbin will begin to rotate faster (because the bobbin pulley is smaller in diameter) and it is at this time that yarn, pulled by the bobbin, comes through the orifice and onto the bobbin.

Check out books from the library. Check out the Guilds list. Start looking at YouTube videos with "double drive spinning wheel" as the starting point as the search words. Amos Aldes has a good book on spinning wheels for starters.


Not Ranked
Posts 2
Ulmer-Spatz wrote
on Sep 28, 2011 10:52 AM

Hello, i have the same problem with my Schacht Ladybug, it is just awful. On the beginning it draws and then it just twist so much that you have a twine.

I tried it with commercial wool plying 2 yarn together and it works super. Well it is my hands than.

The roving i carded looks great.

I just try again. Was good to hear more beginner spinners with a wheel have the same cry cry problems.


Not Ranked
Posts 2
cyellow2 wrote
on Jan 28, 2013 4:39 PM

I'm having the same problem on a Schacht Ladybug.  My husband suggested we try some commercial yarn just to make sure we put it together correctly and it worked super.

Any ideas?  Did you ever have success?  I am going to have a lot of twine!

Top 50 Contributor
Posts 37
Jlathropcpa wrote
on Jan 30, 2013 12:09 AM

On a double drive wheel, the bobbin whorl must be smaller in diameter than the flyer whorl or takeup will not occur but twist will continue to be put into the fiber. I read somewhere that the bobbin whorl should be at least 1/3 smaller, but I don't remember where I read or heard it.  I've only spun in double drive and the takeup is subtle for me. It simply flows away from my drafting hand at the same speed I draft when using a short forward draw, but I don't feel it being tugged out of my hand either.

On my Kromski wheel, the bobbins have whorls on each end. One is larger than the other so if in double drive I can still have the proper ratio even if using the smallest flyer whorl. You didn't say what kind of wheel, but you should check your whorl sizes in relation to each other to make sure that isn't part of your problem.

I posted some more info in the other thread on this same subject that you posted in, and I posted a link to a video. In the video the author is showing how to set up and adjust the tension on the wheel. She has a single drive with scotch tension so the adjustment for you will be different, but the feeling and amount of takeup should feel the same. Without fiber attached, you should feel your leader being drawn on but not being ripped out of your hands, and you should be able to draw it back out of the orifice without lots of tugging, force, or horrible grumblings from the wheel.  You should start with your tension adjustment just tight enough for the bobbin and flyer to turn, then make really minor adjustments from there.

Treadle slowly and try to draft some with each push of the treadle. If you start getting too much twist, you can always stop treadling and draft out in a park-and-draft manner, then resume. If you are getting frustrated, leave it for a while and come back when you are relaxed and try again.

Good luck.

Page 1 of 1 (6 items) | RSS