Spinninglizzy's Weblog

Falling down the slippery fibre slope

Very Fast Flyer

Look what came in the mail!

No, it’s not the walnut Fast Flyer I’ve been waiting for since FEBRUARY, a special order placed for me by my LYS.  (Yes, I still plan getting it when it finally arrives.)  It’s a …(drumroll please)… Very Fast Flyer!

As I’m still commited to purchasing the Fast Flyer, I broke down and decided to order this even faster Lendrum Very Fast Flyer (in the walnut anniversary edition) from someplace online on a Monday, and received it, three days later.  I didn’t order one of these before because of the prohibitive expense; it’s costly because it comes with an entire new mother-of-all and maiden assembly, with several specialised machined metal parts designed for yarn stability.  The Very Fast Flyer was designed for very fine, thread-like yarn; and is not suitable for medium or larger thicknesses.

Closeup of the orifice:

Whoo Hoo! Such sssssssssspeed!  Thus far, I’ve only used the slowest ratio of 26:1, which is 2.6 times faster than the fastest ratio on my standard flyer (10:1).  I don’t know if I’m naturally a fast (some have said manic) treadler, or if I became that way to compensate for the slowness of the standard flyer.  But, I am having difficulty slowing my treaddling so I do not continually snap the thread apart.  Before, the standard flyer was too slow for my drafting.  Now, I need to increase my drafting speed just to keep up with the slowest ratio on this new flyer; I haven’t even tried any of the faster ratios yet.  I suppose I’ll eventually get to the point where I can spin without snapping the yarn every five minutes.  In the meantime, it’s very tedious to thread this this flyer, as all the points in the yarn path are teeny, teeny, tiny.  Look how tiny and flexible the new threading hook is!  The original threading hook is shown (top , shorter hook) as well; the crook of the new hook is so small, it’s nearly invisible.  I’m a tad disappointed that the new mother-of-all does not have an opening to store the new threading hook as did the original.  It is annoying to always be searching for where I last set it down.

And notice how small the bobbin capacity is!  Unless spinning a sewing thread’s thickness, this will fill up quickly.  (The larger core aids in yarn stability.)  I have only the one bobbin at this time, so my new bobbin-winder will come in handy!

Lucky for me that I decided to blog about this, since when taking pictures, I discovered a crack in the wood surrounding the orifice:

If not for the picture taking, I may never have noticed the flaw until too much time had passed.  I’ve contacted the store that sold it to me, and Mr. Lendrum will make me a replacement.  Until then, I have the use of this unit.

I have not put in any quality spinning time this past month because I was so bothered by the lack of speed; so I’m looking forward to spinning ramie (shown in the pics) to make loom tie-up cording soon.

Go, Speed Racer — Go, Speed Racer — Go, Go, Go!!!


25 September 2008 - Posted by | Spinning | , , , , , , ,


  1. Hi. I’ve been wondering about buying the Lenrum very fast flyer and found your blog and photos. Right now I do all my laceweight on a hand spindle. Anyway, I’m wondering if you could e-mail me back – if you have time, and tell me more about the very fast flyer. Thanks,

    Comment by Kristine | 28 February 2009 | Reply

    • Kristine, do you spin on a wheel at all? I love my VFF — my default spinning is now always using it, at the 26:1 ratio.

      Comment by SpinningLizzy | 28 February 2009 | Reply

  2. I’ve answered some questions about the VFF recently:

    > I have a Lendrum DT with the regular, jumbo and fast flyers.
    > I’ve been making laceweight by hand, though, because I
    > have such good control and don’t break the yarn when
    > I’m spindling, whereas when I try to make very fine yarn
    > with the fast flyer/regular bobbin or woolee winder it
    > breaks a LOT. I know the VFF has different bobbins and
    > doesn’t put so much pull on the yarn.
    > Do you make laceweight? Do you ply with the VFF? How many
    > of the special bobbins did you buy?
    > Looking at those lace bobbins it doesn’t look like
    > they hold that much. How many yards can you get on there
    > before it is too full?

    Yes, I do spin laceweight and ply it on the VFF. The Scotch tension on the VFF is much more fine-tuned than on the standard MOA/flyer setups. (But, you should still be able to release the tension virtually completely on the std and FF as well.)

    I only use two bobbins — I wind off all my yarn onto separate bobbins for plying. If you don’t want to do that, you might want to invest in a third bobbin (laceweight is traditionally 2-plied). I could have gotten by with only the 1 bobbin, but I like having the second for ease of sampling.

    Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of fingering weight yarn on the VFF — the last skein I’ve plied on one bobbin turned out to be 1.25 ounces of 3-ply yarn measuring 120 yards and 22 wpi (after a finishing wash). I measured the length of the singles on one bobbin before plying, and came up with 350 yards. It was full, but I think I could have overloaded the bobbin for more yardage.

    In my case, I had been waffling about picking up the “plying” head (a misnomer — it should really be called the “bulky” head) — I’m pretty much decided it’s not too useful in my case since I really enjoy spinning fast, and I can spin bulky on the regular flyer.

    Comment by SpinningLizzy | 1 March 2009 | Reply

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