Hacking the CS2, Ashford Country Spinner

I love Pip, the Ashford Country Spinner!
I added some modifications to love it even more.

I changed the place and the pacing of the hooks on the flyer to allow for lacing the thread and thus reducing the pull of the wheel.

Standard placement of hooks for Ashford wheels:
pic by Ashford.co.nz

It makes no sense to me to have one set of hooks on one side of the flyer and the other set on the bottom side of the flyer, of the other side.
Mr. Louet once told me this is because people like to use only the hooks on the side they spin to. So for Z ply people favour their hooks on the right side of the flyer. For S ply on the left.

But it doesn’t matter from which side the bobbin is catered with the new thread….

And it could have something to do with balance. But my experience is that only comes into play when the flyer is spinning really fast and the CS2 is not capable of that.

Mr. Louet put the hooks all on one side of the traditional flyer for the S10:
pic by Louet.nl
And the hooks are positioned “skippy”, they do not mirror each other, left to right.
This allows for lacing.

Since the CS 2 is a sturdy spinning wheel the hooks are just screwed in holes. They can easily be screwed out. Which is what I did.

These are the holes I was left with on one side of the flyer; this is where Ashford recommends you place the hooks and the previous owner dutifully put them there:

I went and drilled some holes on the other side of the flyer, pacing them between the holes you see here. I then screwed in the hooks.

It makes sense to have the hooks on the same side of the flyer, facing up. Just like the LouetS10 had/had.
That way you can lace the leader (and the thread) and thusly reduce the pull of the wheel. Especially convenient when your wheel is bobbin-lead (old Louets, Irish tension wheels and th Ashford Country Spinner)

Lacing:

Yes, Ashford Country Spinner is bobbin lead too. It pulls like a horse! This is good for thick yarns that don’t need much twist. You want them to wind onto the bobbin quickly.

Adding the possibility to lace your leader/thread adds the opportunity to spin thinner yarns. Just like you can with a Louet S10. You can spin anything on a Louet S10! Just lace the thread and you can do frog hair.

For proper lacing it’s important to have a extra hooks near the orifice. That way you can fill up the bobbin and still lace a bit, near the orifice.

I also placed two hooks at the very ends so I can lead the yarn away from the disc of the bobbin. Also the rythm of the hook positions shows. “Skippy” what?:

I tried it out and spin some DK weight yarn. Very little pull! I could play with it by allowing more or less lacing. (I did not need to use the brake.)

Another hack I tried out: plying from the same bobbin. I only have two bobbins and I love to spin 2 ply yarns. How to do that?
Buying another bobbin is really expensive… and with the capacity these babies have I don’t really need it for the yardage. Time to put their characteristics to good use!

First I spun both halves of my roving onto the same bobbin. I kept them a bit apart from each other and made sure I could reach both ends when I was done:

I placed the bobbin onto the lazy kate and plied from it:

In future I’ll have to keep in mind to let the singles wind on roughly the same way (like I did now). So that when they release each single it comes in the same speed.
If one single is on top of previous wound yarn, for example, it will yield more meters per turning of the bobbin than its partner that was wound straight onto the wooden core. Circumferences need to be roughly the same.

Good result. 22 meters of worsted/DK weight, spun without having to fight the wheel and plied from one (HUGE) bobbin onto the second (HUGE) bobbin:

UPDATE:
the spinning orifice of the CS2 is directed towards the left, you’ll probably always want to lead the yarn towards the bobbin from the left. I wish I had taken this into account when positioning the hooks.

Now that I use the wheel a lot I find I never lace the leader from the orifice towards the right like I did on this picture. I always go left.

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4 thoughts on “Hacking the CS2, Ashford Country Spinner

  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I modified my CS1 the same way over the weekend and I’m currently spinning a nice fluffy DK weight single with no problem!

    I tried all of the other “tricks” I could find to reduce the take-up first but none of them were very effective. This modification is exactly what I needed.

    Thanks again!

  2. I’m about to modifi mine as well, how exactly should I passion the hooks to get best results?

    Regards

    Kristine

    • As shown on my last picture: left hooks fall in the middle of the spaces of the right hooks. And position a few close together near the front of the weel, where the orifice is. You will use those the most. Good luck Kristine. If you have any more questions please ask.

  3. I swear mine pulls like a Clydesdale! I’ve been looking for a way to make spinning on my old skool Country Spinner easier, and this just may work! Thank you, I’ll be trying it in the morning.

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