Crafting / Spinning

Turkish spindles

The Turkish family of spindles has stolen my heart. My first one, the Jenkins Swan, is a trustworthy, stable, friendly spindle, and I already spun a lot with her. She is made of Yucatan Rosewood. I’m still working on the batts I got from Janneke, and really enjoying it. I named her Kuğu, which is Turkish for Swan (but I’m always thinking of her as Rose, so maybe I should change the name…


Then the Jenkins Aegean arrived. She’s way lighter than the Swan (17 vs. 43 grams) and very agile and merry. She is made of Bigleaf Maple. I spun the pretty fiber that came with it to get a feel for her. Her name was easy: Yunan, which is Turkish for Greek.


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I was very pleased with my spindles! The Jenkins spindles are known as “the best of the best” when it comes to Turkish spindles, but there are more artisans who make beautiful, well-balanced spindles, and I wanted to experience more. So… a size large spindle from Subterranean Woodworks arrived next. She has an East Indian Rosewood shaft and the whorl  is made of Quilted Maple, painted “electric blue”, so I named her TARDIS. She’s not as heavy as Kuğu (43 vs. 33 grams), but somehow she feels a bit heavier. She has a rather pointy shaft, with a sharp indentation, more pronounced than the Jenkins spindles.



Of course, I couldn’t resist when Enid Ashcroft, a British spindle maker, had a quick update of her shop (which is usually rather empty), and so a Midi found her way to me. Enids spindles have a different shape from the other I have, with straighter arms with bended tips instead of completely curved. The indentation in the shaft is even lighter than in the Jenkins spindles, and the spindle feels sturdy, grown up and no nonsense. She weighs 20 grams, slightly more than the Aegean, and has visibly longer arms and shaft. Her whorl  is made of Spalted Beech and her shaft of Walnut. I named her Sophie, short for sophisticated.

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Until now, all my spindles had been medium to large size, and I was still missing a tiny spindle. Today it arrived. It’s a Mini “Olive Ridley” from Frank Williams Aussie Spindles, and it weighs only 10.7 grams! The whorl is made of Western Banksia, and the shaft is made of Jarrah, both typical Australian woods. It’s tiny, and when spinning it feels quite wild and jumpy. It will probably stabilize more once there is some yarn wound unto it. This little spindle is called Kassiopeia.

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To see the differences in sizes and shapes, I made a group picture of them all. A big, happy family, that is still waiting for a Riley Petite and an IST Crafts English Bog Oak (and maybe, at some point, if I can get them, more Jenkins spindles…).

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Jenkins Swan, Jenkins Aegean, Enid Ashcroft Midi, Subterranean Woodworks Large, FWAussieSpindles Mini “Olive Ridley”


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