Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The wonderful world of spindles.......

Bead spindle with myrtle wood bowl spindles that is!!! I know it's been a while....okay a long time.....since I've last posted, but I've been enjoying my foray into the world of support spindles. It all started out innocently enough. Watch a few videos on youtube........sow the seeds of more those seeds have taken off and are starting to a few more videos. Boom!! Before you know it those tiny seeds of fascination are running rampant and you just have to give it a try yourself.

Orenburg Russian Spindle
Santos Rosewood Tabachek Russian Spindle
Now to look for a spindle. There are so many to choose from!! Which one do you start with? Some spinners will tell you to start with a tibetan. It's easier. Others will tell you to start with a Russian. It's easier. Me. How did I decide? That was simple. I liked how the Russian spindle looked and I was able to find one that really appealed to me. Hence, my Tabachek Russian spindle made from Santos Rosewood. Really beautiful spindle! Feels wonderful in my hand and spins like a dream! Unfortunately that wasn't the support spindle that I started playing with. The first support spindle I played with was a bead spindle I made using a bamboo skewer (and not a very straight one at that) and a few beads that I had laying around (pictured above with a myrtle wood dish that I found at the local thrift shop for a quarter).

While the first support spindle I had purchased was my Tabachek it took a while for it to arrive since it was coming from Canada. I was getting antsy and really wanted to try my hand at support spindling. After all, by this time I had watched literally hours of video on how to do it. So the bead spindle was born. It was a great thing to play with and learn on. By the time my Tabachek arrived I was more than ready to try my new skills out on a Russian spindle. Spent hours with my new Tabachek. The first ounce spun up rather quickly and I was real pleased with how it turned out. The second ounce is still a work in progress. You see, I had caught the dreaded bug "spindle-itis" and just had to add a few more support spindles to the ones I already had.

Enid Ashcroft Tibetan Spindle
The next spindle to join my small, but growing collection, was my Orenburg spindle. I was browsing threads on one of my Ravelry groups when I came across a thread on the Orenburg museum. While I was reading it I came across a post that was offering up traditional Orenburg spindles as a way of fund-raising for the museum. Well that really peaked my interest. So I did a little bit of research and decided that I simply had to have an Orenburg spindle of my own. I have to confess that I was a touch disappointed when my Orenburg spindle did arrive. It was very rough and the fiber kept getting caught on the it didn't spin very well. The rough part was a rather easy fix. Spent some time going over the spindle with steel wool until it was satiny smooth. Then I stained it with a light colored stain to protect the wood and give it a touch of color. It still didn't want to spin very well so my hubby took a look at it. Turned out there was a couple of burrs on the metal tip. He smoothed them out and now it spins like a dream.  :,)

The next spindle that was added to my growing collection was a tibetan spindle that was made by Enid Ashcroft. It is an absolutely beautiful spindle and spins like a dervish! It has got the longest spin time of any of my support spindles....close to 45 seconds naked. The whorl and matching lap bowl are made of spalted beech. The shaft is made from African Blackwood. While it is a beautiful spindle to look at and spin on, I find that I actually have a preference for Russian spindles and wanted another one.

GrippingYarn Ebony Rose Spindle
Well, the next spindle to find its way home wasn't another Russian spindle, but a beautiful ebony Rose spindle made by GrippingYarn. I had heard about her spindles on Ravelry and had browsed her site several times. The Rose really caught my eye. It is actually a hybrid spindle. A cross between a Russian spindle (bottom half of spindle) and a French spindle (top half of spindle). What makes the Rose so unique is that you can use it as more than a support spindle. You can use it as a hand-held spindle and , if you purchase the copper cap, as a drop spindle. I also love the sleek shape of it. The top of the shaft has a corkscrew type groove in it (typically found on the tops of French spindles) that your single falls into and makes spinning off the tip so much easier. I like to use it as a hand-held spindle when I'm first starting off and creating my leader. Once my leader is created and I have the beginnings of a cop then I prefer using it as a support spindle. I find it easy to flick and it has a nice spin time. I can spend hours spinning with it. It's that effortless. I did try spinning with it using the copper cap as a drop spindle. I really prefer to use it either hand-held or supported.

The last spindle to join my small collection is yet another bead spindle that I made for myself on Mother's Day. All my support spindles had fiber on them and I was in the mood to play with a support spindle. So I made a new one.  :,) This one has stone bead in the center with a metal bead on either side. The shaft is a bit larger than a bamboo skewer and not as long (about 9" from tip to tip). It also weighs more....about 3/4 of an ounce. Once again I chose something to use as a shaft (chopstick) that wasn't very straight so the finished spindle has a pretty good wobble when you are using it. Still spins pretty darn good considering.

Of course this isn't the end of my support spindle acquisition. On its way are two more lovely Tabachek Russian spindles in walnut. One is a 'regular' spindle, the other a plying spindle. I love my first Tabachek so much that I just had to have at least one more. Here's the thing with Tabachek spindles case you decide that you just have to have one as well......they are very difficult to find. As of the writing of this post, Mr. Tabachek hasn't been in his workshop since last August due to health issues. So once the very few Tabachek spindles that are still available are gone that's it until Mr. Tabachek health issues have been resolved and he is able to return to his beloved workroom.

Now if you find that the Rose is rather appealing and is calling your name, then do look up GrippingYarn and browse her site. Her spindles are absolutely stunning and a dream to spin with. I have recently placed an order with her for two more being another Rose spindle, the other a Russian spindle. I know. I'm bad. I simply can't help myself.  :,) I find support spindling to be utterly and totally relaxing, fun, and very addictive!!

home-made stone bead spindle

1 comment:

  1. Just came across your blog searching info on bead spindles. I love what you wrote and I too find support spindling very addictive, relaxing and fun! lol