1) I need fewer regular bobbins to make the yarn I want.
I loaned out my Matchless (don’t worry I have multiple Schacht Spinning Wheels) to a friend who’s considering buying one and gave him all but two of my regular Schacht bobbins. Without storage bobbins, I couldn’t make anything but a chain-ply yarn on my other Schacht wheel. If I am in the mood to spin only singles for weeks that I don’t want to ply until later, I can do that with the help of storage bobbins. I just have to remember to label them. It doesn’t hurt that storage bobbins are much cheaper than regular bobbins. I can buy storage bobbins for less than $3.00 apiece, where Schacht’s travel bobbins cost $34 and their regular bobbins cost $43. A bobbin winder costs the same as 3 or 4 regular bobbins.
2) Rewinding makes plying smoother
I am terrible about moving to the next hook regularly when I spin my singles and I get yarn piled up in hills and valleys on my bobbin. When I ply from bobbins that are wound unevenly, they don’t unspool smoothly—they snag a lot and sometimes break. I rewind my singles evenly onto storage bobbins and they are much easier to ply.
3) Rewinding distributes twist
I don’t know about you, but most of my bobbins-full of singles are inconsistent from one day to another, due to how I feel when I sit down at my wheel. I’ve even noticed extra twist in spots when I’m watching a particularly tense murder mystery; I think my feet are trying to run away by treadling faster. Rewinding helps to redistribute twist in inconsistent singles.
4) Better color matching when I ply
When I spin variegated braids of fiber and want to match or mostly match my colors, I rewind my bobbins. I find that I am much more consistent drafting when I start a bobbin. When I start plying from the same ends that I started spinning my fiber, my color match up is better than when I ply from the ends where I finished spinning my singles.
5) Randomizing plies in a big project
This goes along with my mood changing my yarn. When I spin for a sweater-sized project or bigger, I store all of my singles on storage bobbins. When it comes time to ply, I pull randomly from my pile of bobbins, mixing up variations in size and twist to make a more consistent yarn overall for my project.
6) Color plying fun.
I use storage bobbins for intermixing colors when I ply. This sample is knit from 2-ply yarn interchanging all 3 of the colorways (A, B, and C, from the bottom up) as I ply: AB, BC, CA. Storage bobbins make it easy to do simple or complex color plying.
Now, I know that none of you will judge me harshly for enabling, so it’s safe to confess: I recently bought a whole bag of bobbins (100) so my students can use them in class. I’m sowing the seeds of storage bobbin love wherever I go. Call me little Jilly Bobbinseed.