Raspberry Pi spinning wheel

Cyndi Minister runs The Twisted Purl, a yarn company in Arkansas. She’s also a bit of a geek, and when her ankles became sore from too much work at the treadle, she hit on the idea of making a Raspberry Pi powered spinning wheel for her hand-made yarn.

Raspberry sPIn

Raspberry sPIn

If you’re spinning, you need to be able to do three things: turn the wheel in one direction to spin, in the opposite direction to ply, and halt. Cyndi went from a standing start (“It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything electronically; ever coded; ever worked with computers”), to building the perfect electronic spinning wheel. The machine incorporates a camera so she can blog what she’s spinning; she’s planning to get it hooked up to the Twitter API to live-tweet whatever she’s working on too.

First yarn from the RaspberrysPIn, knitted up.

First yarn from the Raspberry sPIn, knitted up.

Cyndi decided to enter Raspberry sPIn in the Raspberry Pi Bake-Off competition hosted by Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas; and we are completely unsurprised to learn that she carried away the first prize. Here’s video from David J Hinson of the event: Cyndi’s segment starts at 2.42.

You can read more about Cyndi’s yarn-tacular adventures with the Raspberry Pi on her website. Congratulations on your win, Cyndi!


Jonathan Chetwynd avatar

I also love spinning, made a wheel once, and use a spindle nowadays, catch me in my English llama scarves on wintery days ~:”

Liz Upton avatar

Lorna, our trademarks elf (currently on maternity leave) is a very dedicated…I want to say “spinster”, but she’s emphatically married. She actually has a whole room in her house given over to wool, in all forms from the raw just-off-a-sheep stuff, through carded tufts, yarn and some of the most amazing lacy knitting you’ve ever seen. I suspect she won’t be replacing her current spinning wheel just yet, though; it’s a thing of beauty.

Tom West avatar

Originally “spinster” was just the feminine word for “person who spins yarn”. However, it was generally done by unmarried women, and so took on its more modern meaning.
But technically one can be a married spinster :-)

Liz Upton avatar

…”The spinning Jenny, or unmarried textiles worker.”

AndrewS avatar

Does Lorna supply wool to Emma’s mum? :)

Liz Upton avatar

No: apparently Emma’s Mum’s house is already at peak yarn.

Cyndi Minister avatar

Thank you for such a lovely write up on our pi powered spinning wheel!

Stick avatar

From a standing start, that’s pretty impressive.

George Witherspoon avatar

It is impressive, but that said, does it really require a computer to turn a motor on and off ? How about using a switch ?

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