Monday, July 27, 2009
Accelerator Head - Rip Through That Roving
When I got my first Majacraft spinning wheel I was a bit confused about the lace kit/accelerator head distinction. I wanted to spin fast and fine. Did I need both? Was one better than the other? If I only had one accessory, which one should I choose?
Now I can answer the question and I want to walk you through it.
The accelerator head raises the ratio of flyer rotations to drive wheel rotations by adding another gear. You can see it in the photo. The flyer head uses a whorl (interchangeable with any whorl - but it comes with this one) which is the whorl on the left, and then a second, smaller whorl, which stays on the head. The drive wheel turns the whorl, which turns the second whorl. Result, fast. How fast? I counted 1:28 using the whorl that came with it. I haven't tried it with my fast whorl. 1:28 is fast enough. The improvement in my long draw is stunning. I needed that extra boost of speed to get a good rhythm going.
The accelerator head can be used with any flyer - delta, fine fiber, etc. But it works best with the lace flyer. The reason is this. The wheel is already doing a lot of work by turning two whorls and a flyer at a very high speed. The lace flyer makes that job easier because it is smaller and a single rotation requires less energy than turning a bigger flyer.
So, which is best, lace kit or accelerator head? I would say accelerator head plus lace flyer and fat core bobbins for the very EASIEST fine spinning, but if you could only have one thing, I'd say go for the lace kit first and when your treadling can't keep up with the speed of your drafting, THEN get the accelerator. Today I've been plying some very fine laceweight at the highest speed I can maintain without sweating, and that wheel is HUMMING. I'd be working a lot harder if I were trying to use a big flyer, or the Woolee Winder. I'm plying from a lace bobbin (fat core) to a baby bobbin (small bobbin with a skinny core.) Perfect!