I love my Bottom Whorl Drop Spindle, the wooden one in the middle. This is what I started with, adn I adore it. I can get a good long spin, it looks cool twirling around and the hook at the top is perfect for catching on when I’m twisting my fiber.
Unfortunately within the concept of larger classes and getting people hooked on fiber arts, the price point is a little high for a giveaway.
On the left is a Babe Spindle without the whorl. I needed to hit a price point to get free shipping on an order, the Babe Spindle cost less than shipping and allowed me to hit that goal so I ordered one. It really is a neat spindle, allowing the user to decide if it is a bottom whorl or top whorl spindle in addition to allowing you to decide if you want to put one or two of the whorl discs on the spindle. What I found neat is that if you keep the whorls off of the spindle entirely…or if they fall off because you didn’t put nearly enough tape on the shaft, oops, you can roll the shaft of the spindle down your leg and use the cup hook to hold the wool in place. The shaft becomes a great little spindle, a bit awkward and no independent spinning like with my original spindle, but you have a lot more control over how the shaft spins, very neat. This becomes a bit more of a reasonable price point, all a teacher would need to provide is a stick (dowel) with some cup hooks screwed into the top. (also Wool) Dowels are not that expensive, the cup hooks aren’t too bad price wise…I’d just have to find a way to get the cup hook into the dowel without it splitting. I think I saw something about putting a nail in first to keep the wood from splitting, definitely worth considering.
Now, recently Mayan Spindles, I can’t really find out where the name came from as it does not seem to have anything to do with the Mayan Culture, have been showing up more in popular culture…okay, popular spinning culture. This is a dead simple way of putting twist into fiber, attach the fiber on one arm, spin around, and voila yarn. The spinning motion is very big and completely controlled by the spinner. But the price point just went up again, a wooden Mayan Spindle (Spinner) is about $20, whew that’s a bit rich for a teacher. However, doesn’t that spinner look a bit like a propeller? I looked up plastic propellers on Amazon, lo and behold, they have 12 plastic propellers in a pack for under $5 with free shipping. Okay, they came from China, and I’m washing them in hot soapy water before using because I’m a little paranoid. (I didn’t realize that the Sari Silk from India might contain some really nasty diseases that are fairly rampant over there). I try to Order American when I can, if you know of an American equivalent/retailer let me know, but these are fantastic. They spin, just a tiny bit, on their own but allow for complete control. They are lightweight and easily spun in one hand. It is very easy for the spinner to see the twist as it enters into the fiber. At about .25 each, they are cheap enough to be a giveaway that doesn’t hurt the pocket book. I do think that I will glue the shaft to the propeller before showing these to anyone else, but it really does make for a great spindle alternative.
So, these are my Spindle Explorations!