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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Urban Myth Busters - Super High Speeds?

Cathy Z. and I set out to test an urban myth - we had both heard that it is possible to get lightning fast speeds on a Majacraft by putting the drive band around the flyer shaft, sans whorl. You can see my setup in the photo.

Here is what we found out. Cathy set up her little Gem this way and got a ratio of 17:1. Fast, for the LG. Except that the band kept falling off.

I set mine up on my Suzie. I got a ratio of (drum roll!) 34:1. And it worked! Ripped the fiber right out of my hand. The band stayed put. But here's the real truth - it wasn't easy to treadle, and the treadling was jerky. I couldn't get up a good, fast treadling rhythm. So yeah, you could do it in a pinch, but I wouldn't want to spin a pound of merino this way.

The lesson? It is fun to mess around with spinning wheels. Try it. Maybe you'll come up with a myth that turns out to be solid fact.

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