It’s Alive!!!

The E-Spinner is up and running 🙂 🙂 🙂

In the video it doesn’t look like the flyer is going very fast, but I guess that has something to do with the camera- it was probably going about 900-1000 rpm.

We still have to construct the lid for the box to cover the motor and controller, and also figure out how we want to do the scotch tension, but I have rigged up a temporary brake band for the bobbin so that I can play with it.

We’re going to use the same walnut for the lid as the base-


I think he’s so handsome. Going to call him Moto.


In other news, I got most of the rest of Dottie and Chone sheared yesterday. Really nice fleeces this year!
Dottie was being a bit of a fusser, so I had to ask The Man to help me out. She’s mostly done, but still has fluffy haunches. I’ll have to clean her up later on.

It’s amazing how much wool she and Chone grow in a year. then when you help them out of their coats, they are just tiny little buggers.
I had partially sheared Dottie in the Fall (maybe late September?), just in the front about to her waist (do sheep have waists!) and she had regrown at least four inches. So I might need to shear her every six months. The even longer wool on her back end did get a little felted over the winter, but should still be workable. Might need to get out the combs!


Fleece, Wiring & Banana Bread

The makings of a good weekend!

Managed to get Edgar’s haircut finished up, and made a start on Dottie and Chone.


Ooh- Ahhh- those do look like nice fleeces.


As you might expect, Felix and Frank kept their distance.


But Edgar was all about getting rubs after I got his neck and shoulders cleared off.


Meanwhile, The Man is making great progress on the espinner project. Worked on wiring up all the components Saturday


This was a dry run of how the elements will fit in the box once it is assembled.


And then today we got the rest of the shaping done on the box.


I think it’s all coming together quite nicely. Can’t wait to take it for a test spin!


It might be bit yet, because of the box assembly and finishing and such, but for now there is banana bread.


In The Shop with The Man

Edgar is feeling better, and I am much relieved.
We haven’t gotten the toxicology results back yet from Idaho, but the bloodwork that was done locally indicated he had a high phosphorus level and low calcium. Not sure what exactly would set up that sort of situation.

With Edgar back on his feet, I pressed ahead this weekend with hoof trimming and CDT boosters. Nice to get that all finished up. Shearing is ongoing- with everyone in different stages of crazy haircuts 🙂

And we were able to get back into the shop to work on the e-spinner!

The box that will house the components is coming together


Still have to shape the front and rear panels to create the equivalent of maidens to hold the flyer. Hope to sort that out today.

Here is how the control panel will sit in one of the side pieces of the box (on/off switch, speed control dial, direction switch and little red and green led lights to indicate direction of spin) 

espinner control panel

Neato frito, eh? Yeah, The Man is pretty good with this kind of stuff 🙂


the round hole in the back side is where the power cord will go.

And here is a little video of testing the rpm range on the largest whorl of the flyer

(Pretty sure the bobbin clatter at the higher speed will resolve with a little oil.)

We’re right on track with having an operating range on the flyer of about 450-1200 RPM. That should cover everything that I usually spin. And if a need ever emerged to go higher, we could use the next smaller whorl.

For reference, if you’re operating at a ratio of 8:1 and treadling once per second, your flyer is doing about 480 RPM.  So assuming 60 treadles a minute rate, the espinner is designed to have an range equivalent to ratios from 7.5:1 to 20:1

Close Call, Vet Call

Edgar’s had a tough few days.

Thursday evening after I got home from work a neighbor came by to tell me that she had seen Edgar on his back struggling and unable to right himself that afternoon. She and her son hopped our fence to help get him back on his feet, and he kind of staggered away.

When I checked on him that evening, he was kind of sluggish, with some swelling around his left eye. I gave him some GasX and baking soda and he seemed to perk up a bit. Also trimmed some wool off him in hopes that it would make it easier to get himself back up if he flipped over. But I had no idea how he ended up on his back in the first place.

I stayed home Friday to keep an eye on him.
He seemed ok but subdued when I checked on him in the early morning, and I kept a pretty close watch on him throughout the day.

Sometime in the early afternoon, I think he took another tumble, but was able to get himself back up.
When I got to him he was stumbling around in a circle, and he seemed kind of discombobulated and unsteady on his feet.

I started thinking that perhaps he’s eaten something toxic, so I did a sweep of the pasture to see if I could find anything suspect.
Found one outcropping of mushrooms on a rotting poplar log, and took some pictures to post online and see if I could get a positive ID.
Gave Edgar some activated charcoal capsules.

A little while later he was on his back in the shed. I raced out there to help him. His breathing was very fast and shallow and I steadied him until he was able to calm down and get settled in a good spot in the shed.

Then I called the vet.

He got out to us around 6 and I gave him the run-down on what had happened so far.
By this time, Edgar had recovered from his last fall, and was not in any kind of obvious distress, although his left eye was drooping and he was still kind of listless.

The doc checked his temperature, eyesight, rumen activity, heatbeat, looked for any signs of abdominal discomfort, tested his balance, and I don’t even know what all else. Didn’t seem to be any obvious answer to what was going on. In the end he took two vials of blood to test and see if we can figure out why he seems to be having seizures.

I haven’t heard anything back yet about the results of the bloodwork. But feedback on the mushrooms from a couple of mycology sources agree that they are not toxic (flammulina), so probably not the source of the problem.

We’ve been monitoring him closely over the weekend, and he seems to be improving, up and grazing with the rest of the crew, and this evening his left eye appears more normal.

To me, the most encouraging sign is that he is slowly getting his Edgar ‘tude back.

I really hope that he’s on the mend.
and I am so thankful for the folks who saw him in distress and came to his aid on Thursday afternoon.

So keep a good thought for Edgar. He’s had a tough couple of days.