The Perpetually Chattering Bobbin

Good morning and happy Saturday! Do you feel that little bit of change in the air? This is the part of summer that I love most. Basically, the end. These low humidity days with bright warm sunshine and crisp nights really agree with me. The fall fiber festival season is coming, and it will start for me with the Adirondack Wool and Arts Festival (formerly the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival) on September 23rd and 24th. Do you have your fiber festival shopping list ready? I have a few tools and accessories I am on the lookout for, but nothing specific for yarn and fiber, though it always finds its way home with me.

This morning I am continuing spinning on the Pixie Batt, and I have really enjoyed this project so far. The batt is well prepared and drafts easily, and the layers provide some variety as I draft back and forth across the end of each strip I tear off. The 25:1 pulley on my Polonaise is the highest ratio I have, and I am working at a very comfortable pace, but I do almost wish I had a slightly higher ratio available on this wheel.

Sounds like a fun and relaxing project, right? It might be now, but the bobbin I started spinning first was a frustratingly loud, anxiety inducing nightmare. There is one bobbin that came with my Polonaise that always makes noise when I spin. It does not seem to matter which size flyer pulley is used, whether I am spinning in double drive or single drive, or which end of the bobbin is the drive/brake end. I generously oil the ends of the bobbin core where it rotates on the flyer shaft, often stopping many times during spinning to apply more, but the bobbin inevitably ends up getting so noisy I remove it and start again on a different one.

Many Kromski wheel owners in the Kromski group on Ravelry say that the bobbins with the metal bearings (bushings? I forget which is the correct term here) in the core tend to be more noisy than the ones with plastic or nylon. My bobbins have the metal. Keeping them well oiled seems to help but often no amount of oiling can fix a stubborn one. I seem to have a stubborn one. Three of my bobbins are perfectly fine, and because I can wind off onto storage bobbins at any time and play from those, one bobbin is actually all I need. I may buy a new bobbin or two with the nylon bearing just to try them out and see if I notice a difference, or have a preference.

The stubborn bobbin will be marked as such, maybe with a small sticker, just to remind me not to use it.

My Lendrum bobbins all have the nylon bearing in the core, and of the ten bobbins I have for that wheel, a few might be loud whisperers but I do not think any of them make so much noise that I couldn’t continue to spin with it. My Hilltopper bobbins are all very quiet as well. As for the Cardarelle, they’re smooth and quiet enough, but the wheel is much older so I do not expect it to be completely quiet, and it does not detract from the enjoyment of spinning on this handsome and fun little wheel.

I will have more to write about that wheel soon, so until then, have a great weekend!

6 thoughts on “The Perpetually Chattering Bobbin”

      1. Imagine what it was like for a our spinning ancestors, who must have dealt with chattering bobbins all the time.

        I’ve been at your home for the early morning dog feeding, and wondered how Michael could sleep through that racket. I’m sure chattering bobbins are pretty quiet in comparison.


  1. Can you tell me if ANYONE knows where to get a plastic bearing for those bobbins! I really don’t want to buy a 20. bobbin just because I lost a besring. Thanks for any help you can offer. Even if someone knows how I could make one.
    Vickie Hall


    1. For which bobbins, Kromski? There are a few dealers around the capital district that may be able to help. The Spinning Room in Altamont, Foster Sheep Farm in Schuylerville, and A Touch Of Twist in Pattersonville.


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