Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Spindle Advice

Greetings, fellow spinners!

I've recently taken up spinning, and with a cobbled-together drop spindle at that, but nonetheless I'm hooked! Since I already love it so much, I figure I can justify a bit of expenditure (though sadly, not enough for a wheel!), so I was wondering is any of you had some advice for me.

First off, what is your favorite kind of spindle to spin with (high-whorl, low-whorl, Turkish?) And why? I'm aware that different spindles work better depending on the yarn: currently I'm trying to spin lighter-weight singles, to (hopefully) end up with fingering-to-sprt weight yarn (that way if i mess it up I'll still be ok with a worsted!).

Secondly, what brands of spindles do you love? Again, why? I'm looking to get something nice, but I'm having a hard time justifying $50USD for a small blob of lathe-turned hardwood... (I really must repress my inner DIY-er!) I also realize that this group happens to be "sponsored" by a spindlemaker, and I don't want to cause issues, so if this question is 'iffy' just ignore it.

Thanks for your help, in advance.


Jo said...

I learnt to spin on a wheel, and struggled to spin with the homemade top whorl spindle I had, so before giving up I bought a turkish spindle from you know who.
It was delivered Monday and the first yarn off it is up on my blog, but how are you getting on with your homemade spindle? are you happy with the yarn? does it feel balanced, I think the spin and balance on my top whorls wasn't quite right which was what the main problem was.

Fiberjoy said...

Feel free to put in your two-cents on what spindle(s you love, and why.

Em, you post a great question. Please don't worry about treading on Jenkins toes. We know that we don't have an exclusive corner on the market! I read such wonderful reviews about the Bosworth spindles I'd love to try one some day. Rhonna's Cascabeles has me drooling too. I think I have enough understanding and feel for spinning that I could spin with a top whorl.

Spinning with a Turkish clicked my first try. A bonus is that it comes apart for storage. I'm able to spin fine lacey yarns and threads of silk with them as well as use them for plying.

As for the price: A well balanced wood spindle with very little wobble and long spin time takes skill.

The other factor to bear in mind is that if the maker chooses to sell them through stores as well as his own website or business, there is the markup fee which is usually 100%. So when you look at a spindle that costs $50USD the maker is getting $25 for that spindle. Unless you buy direct from the maker which he loves. :-) The maker needs to sell them at the store retail price too, otherwise retailers will not buy his product for their stores. It's all crazy!

I'm looking forward to others weighing in on this subject and especially reading about their favorite spindles.

Artis-Anne said...

I first started to spin with a top whorl and didn't get great success and then went straight to using a wheel after getting hooked using a borrowed one. Since then I have tried a DIY bottom whorl spindle and it clicked and I could spin fine with it . It was built by one of the guild memebers hubby and its the strangest looking spindle I have seen ,must get a photo of it, but it works so that the main thing. I do still use the drop spindle usually for small yardage that I need and have to say I am eyeing up one of 'you know who's' Turkish ones