Sunday, November 22, 2009

of Spindles and Yarn

Spindles come in all colors and prices, Top Whorl and bottom whorl. A spindle (sometimes called a drop spindle) is a wooden spike (known as the shaft) which is commonly weighted at either the bottom middle or top, most commonly by a circular or spherical object [known as the [whorl]]; the spindle may also have a hook, groove or notch, though spindles without these are also common. It is used for spinning wool and other fibers into thread. spindle whorls are common finds in archaeological digs around the world; they may represent one of the earliest pieces of technology available to humankind. I hope you enjoy my candle holder doubling as a spindle display rack. Modern spindles are commonly available in high-whorl, low-whorl, centre whorl or supported varieties. In a high-whorl spindle, the whorl sits very close to the top of the shaft. A hook is placed on the top of the shaft to secure the developing yarn, and the newly-spun yarn is wound around the shaft underneath the whorl. In a low-whorl spindle, the whorl sits near the bottom of the shaft. The newly spun yarn is wound around the shaft just above the whorl. If there is a hook at the upper end of the shaft, the yarn is spiral-wound up the shaft and caught in the hook; if there is no hook at the top, then the yarn is spiral-wound up the shaft and secured with a half hitch (or more, for slippery fibers) at the top. Some low whorl spindles are notched at the top of the shaft to keep the half hitch secured, although this is not necessary. An alternate method of securing the yarn involves passing it down over the edge of the whorl, around the bottom end of the shaft, and back up over the whorl to be secured with a half hitch at the top of the shaft
I can tell you that this is the best spinning machine, lol! I do have projects for some of them and then you need one to ply. So you always need a spare spindle for your plying. The spindle above and the spindle below are from Avi Wasserman, the pictures make no justice to the beauty of these spindles. I got these spindles from THE FOLD. . People here are fantastic, friendly and very helpful.
The spindle with the painting was from EBay and it is a good spindle, I am spinning silk on it and it works fantastic, it was very inexpensive. I think your best deal is to get spindles in kits as they come with yarn and you get a good deal that way. Drop spindles fall all the time, so it is good for you to have some kind of cushion area when they fall. I guess they call them drop spindles for a reason. On Etsy I have seen some made out of glass or semi-precious stones. In my opinion not a good investment unless you collect them and don't use them.
This other spindle below is from EBay as well and came with some roving, I like to give them a shinny finish so I did.
This one came with the silk roving and it is not the greatest of spindles, but it works fine. I guess your best choice of spindle is one that is balanced.
This one below is a combination of woods including cedar which is something I wanted to have, by Steve Kundert. Reasonably priced and made to order , shipped fast and great communication from the artist. . This is a very handsome spindle and is a dream to the touch.
This spindle below was a bottom whorl, and I really don't care for bottom whorls , so I turned it around. It is actually both, I have added a hook to the other side as well, and now has a weight of a tad over 2 ounces, which is something I wanted. I customised it with tacks, but you can add weights to the top and make it heavier if you want.
This concludes my show and tell of spindles. I have one for my Holiday gift to myself that we shall wait until then to talk about it. Thanks for stopping by.

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