Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Past and Future Spindles

A few years ago, I went through a spindle-making phase, using my husband's drill press, a hole cutting saw and a rosette cutter. I used domestic woods (maple, cherry, pine) a few exotics (cocobolo, purpleheart, zebrawood), and some wheat and soy composites, and made some drop spindles that are pretty well balanced and spin forever (my hardest thing was getting the hole in the center of the dowel for the hook- quite a few shafts ended up shorter than I expected because I had to cut the end off and start over). I haven't made spindles for a long time, but last summer I spotted some beautiful flat, round stones with holes in the center, at a Farmer's Fair while we were on vacation on the west coast. I knew right away that they would make interesting spindle whorls. I bought several, and then forgot about them.

But I've been drop spinning lately, and I remembered the stones, and dug them out. I think they'll work, if I can find the proper grommets (to hold the stones firmly on the shaft). I'm not going into production, and I'm not going to sell any spindles. I will probably just put a few together for my own amusement.

I have no idea what these stones are, but they're pretty (from 1 1/4" - 2" in diameter. The littlest green one won't work as a spindle because the hole is off center. It'll make a dandy necklace though).

Here are some of my homemade spindles. The top pic shows the earliest version- top center is red oak (my granddaughter's spindle now), the middle 2 are pine, and the bottom is purpleheart. The middle pic shows Spindle v2.0, beginning at center top: Butternut (very light, a lace spindle), cocobolo, maple, cedar, and cherry (with the darker stripe). The bottom pic are the composites: the lightest one is a wheat straw composite, and the other 3 are soy composites. All but the Butternut spindle weigh 1oz or more.
I go through phases- I didn't get my wheel out for over a year, and now I spin for a little while at least every day, so it was inevitable that I'd get out the spindles as well.


Cara said...

Ooh, those are gorgeous!

ambermoggie said...

those are beautiful:) The stones will be fabulous for you to spin with, very tactile. One of these days I must try and spin:))

Teish said...

Wow, you HAVE to post pictures when you finish the spindles made from those stones. SO PRETTY!

Kathleen Taylor said...

will do, teish. I'm having a bit of trouble finding the right size grommet, but they're out there somewhere.

ambermoggie- I love working with commercial yarns, but there is something amazingly satisfying about knitting with yarn I made myself, no matter how imperfect that yarn is.

cara- thanks!