Full disclosure

People sometimes ask me how many spindles I have. When I tell them, they may look either shocked or fascinated, or sometimes a combination of both. Yes, I have a lot of spindles, they are my tools, my instruments so to say, for spinning the yarns that I want to spin. They are also very pretty, nice to the touch, and the different woods and shapes are so interesting and inspiring…

Back in December, when I just started spinning, I only had one spindle. The herd has grown significantly since then. I was determined to find out what I really  liked, and so I purchased a lot of spindles from all over the world. Some came from Canada or the USA, others from the UK or The Netherlands. I managed to find some in destashes, others I purchased directly from the maker.

Of course, not all spindles were really what I liked, although I didn’t really get a spindle that I didn’t like at all. Your preference in spindles is very personal, and has to do with the colours and shapes you like, the yarn you want to spin, the technique you want to use… and there’s some chemistry involved as well, I suppose. Sometimes you and your spindle just get off from the first moment, while with other spindles you really have to get to know them better to be able to appreciate them fully.

I love turkish spindles. I love the way you can make a little turtle of yarn, putting the singles neatly next to eachother. I love that a turtle is already a center pull ball of yarn. I love the colour changes that happen during the spinning of a new layer. I love the swift, colibri-like spinning of the tiny turks. I love the stable spin of the bigger turks. At this moment, turks are my favourite tools to spin on. Especially those under 20 grams.

I tried topwhorl drop spindles – not a success – the winding on bugs me, and I don’t like having to unwind my singles before I can go to the next step. I quickly destashed my Kundert, SillySalmonDesigns and Hatchtown spindles, because topwhorls are just not for me.

I also tried supported spinning. I purchased a Russian spindle from Ghstworks and gave it a try (which turned out quite well, actually). Spinning supported to me is still not as easy as spinning on a turk, but I do appreciate it, and I’ve found out that with supported spindles, I like the ones that are a bit heavier. I tried both russians and tibetans, and liked them both, but somehow I prefer russians at the moment. I like it that they spin so fast (just like the lighter turks). I tried some lighter supported spindles as well, but my sweet Enid Ashcroft tibetan and Tinasangoras phang were destashed too. Somehow, they didn’t match my preferred way of spinning.

On the turk front, I destashed most of my spindles that were over 20 grams. I kept my very first spindle, the Jenkins Swan that weighs over 40 grams, but the rest of my turks are all under 20 grams. This means that I mostly own turkish spindles with lighter coloured wood (darker wood is denser and thus heavier). I found out that I really love Jenkins spindles, and Enid Ashcroft spindles as well. Almost all my turks are made by either Frank Jenkins or Enid Ashcroft (until my recent purchase of two beautiful Capar spindles from NaturalKnotWood).

My supported spindles are mostly made by Tibor Haganos from MirkwoodArts and Phil Powell from CustomWoodDesigns, but I also still have a beautiful Pocket Tibetan from Enid Ashcroft and a mouth-wateringly beautiful Contingency spindle from TwistedGrain. I love working with the latter and the Powells most.

Enough talking, time for pictures! These are all my spindles.

My spindle family
My spindle family (EA = Enid Ashcroft)
My supported spindles: Mirkwoord Arts Boromir, Eowyn, Frodo, Phil Powell Russians (3x), Tinasangoras Phang, Enid Ashcroft Pocket Tibetan, TwistedGrain Contingency
My supported spindles: Mirkwoord Arts Boromir, Eowyn, Frodo, Phil Powell Russians (3x), Tinasangoras Phang, Enid Ashcroft Pocket Tibetan, TwistedGrain Contingency

I promised full disclosure… so… one more thing: a custom Tibetan spindle with lap chalice is in the making… it’s from WoodlandWoodWorking, and it’s going to be awesome. I ordered it in February, before everybody discovered this shop and the custom orders list is now closed for the year already! I ordered a custom TARDIS spindle (spindles are cool!) and I will show it to you once it arrives!

So, what kind of spindles do you have? What do you prefer and why? Can you recommend certain spindle makers? I’m curious!

5 thoughts on “Full disclosure

  1. I’m so envious of all your little Turks! And the fact that you were able to get a custom order in before everyone discovered Woodland Woodworking. I’m hoping I can get one someday. 🙂

  2. I hope so too! Just keep on trying to snatch one in the updates!
    I’m glad I got one before the rush, because his updates are usually in the middle of the night for me…

  3. LOL!
    If I sold my whole spindle collection, I would probably be able to buy ONE spinning wheel. Also, spindles are much smaller than wheels, all my spindles fit into one small suitcase.
    Just a matter of choosing your addiction wisely 😉

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