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Piggyphile

Drop Spindles

I have been looking at the wonderful drop spindles on Bodrighy's website and there are lots of different ones. I have never used one before. Which would be the best type to start with? The Tibetan one with bowl looks lovely but ease of use has to be my priority.
Bodrighy

This is based on which I sell most not on my experience as a spinner mind. No doubt some of the experts on here can help you more but the ones that seem to be used most by the novices seem to be the basic ones like these, either top or bottom whorls.

Top spindle

Bottom Spindle
mochyn

Piggyphile: do you have anyone to teach you? Go with whichever they're happy with. Other than that I'd say either of the ones Pete has shown is good. Those are definitely the easiest styles to start with. I've got several of his spindles Embarassed
Piggyphile

I have a friend who might know how, I will ask her next time I meet up. The simple ones do look good. With winter coming it will be good to do something crafty in the evenings. Crochet is another option.
Thanks
Bodrighy

I have a friend who might know how, I will ask her next time I meet up. The simple ones do look good. With winter coming it will be good to do something crafty in the evenings. Crochet is another option.
Thanks


Do the hooks as well LOL. Be careful, there are so many fabric crafts you could end up addicted

Pete
Mistress Rose

As a spinner, I would go with the simple ones Pete showed. They are the real drop spindles. My preference is for a bottom whorl, but I know a lot of people like the top ones these days; no idea why.

The main thing is to go slowly. Card or tease out the wool, hold it over the back of your hand, and pull out a length between your hands, then let the spin run up into that while keeping the back hand from letting the spin get into the main part of the unspun wool.

Always start with a loosely spun starter attached to the whorl. You will find that it is called drop spinning for more than one reason, but it keeps you fit chasing it across the floor. The first lot will probably be lumpy; don't worry, you will improve with time.
Bodrighy

When I first started making these some years ago I had to start researching them along with other fabric crafting tools. I was amazed at just how many different types there are. One thing that amused me was how some spinners are very specific and give me a precise weight required whilst some of the spindles I have seen are simply bits of stone with a stick rammed through a hole. Having had a go (unsuccessfully) I am always amazed watching the experts using them. Very skilful.

Pete
mochyn

Perhaps we could do a skill share, Pete? I'll teach you some spinning, you can teach me some turning Smile
Piggyphile

I have ordered a top and bottom spindle and a crochet hook. I am very excited to try them, thanks for the advice. I have a friend who was a member of the Devon spinning guild (or something like that) and I am hoping she will have a clue as she is very crafty (she doesn't know it yet).
Bodrighy

Perhaps we could do a skill share, Pete? I'll teach you some spinning, you can teach me some turning Smile


Always happy to try something new. Suspect you would be better at turning than I would at spinning though.

Pete
Mistress Rose

If you can spin using a wheel, the basics of pole lathe turning are easy as you have the co-ordination. I don't use an electric lathe, so not sure how I would get on with that.

Bodrighy, I think that some spinners need a specific weight as it affects the diameter of the yarn you can spin. A very light spindle allows you to spin a very fine yarn, and one with a heavy whorl with more weight on the outside helps to make a tightly spun thread and make spinning faster. On the other hand, some of them might just be awkward. Very Happy I have spun with everything from a pencil and a bit of plasticine through to very light purpose made spindles and great hunks of wood that turn very slowly. I like my own ceramic one best; husband made it for me nearly 40 years ago when we helped at Butser Ancient Farm. Fired in a Romano British kiln.
Bodrighy

I think the lightest ones I have had to make have been something in the region of 18gms. Had to use a very light wood and keep the whorl very thin. The Takhilis are apparently aimed at light spinning hence the use of the support bowl. Th one thing that seems important to most spinners is to get a good even spin though the ones I see in museums are often off centre, not really balanced if made from pottery, stone etc. I just takes my orders and does as I'm told LOL.

Pole lathe work is very different to electric or treadle turning also much harder work LOL

Pete
Mistress Rose

I would agree with the even spin. I have worked with slightly unbalanced spindles, but not so easy. Am not sure about the unbalanced whorls; the main problem with modern ones is a bent shaft, which can either be rebent or replaced. Of course the old unbalanced ones could be the rejects that were never used, used as jewellery, or given as gifts if there was a lot of work or the material was precious. We will never know.

I find I like the complete control I have with pole lathe turning. I stop treadling and the lathe stops. Not sure how I would get on with the electric lathe; probably make a load of rubbish very quickly. Very Happy
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