Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Spindles and Whorls~ Medieval Style!

Lights, camera and action! It's finally time for my new glass whorls to enter my etsy shop. These have been paired with lovely hand turned and hand carved recycled wooden spindles for a wonderfully modern Medieval spinning experience. Say What???!!! Well, let me 'splain a bit.

First of all, let me say that, this being a cooperative effort, things will be moving a wee bit more slowly than my usual frantic glass making mania. Right now, I make the whorls, we meet and measure and Lois makes a matching stick. But soon we will have our standards down to make it all go oh so much more smoothly. Added to that is that these glass whorls are big and they take a lot of time and energy to make. Though that's unlikely to change, I'm hoping to adjust to them over time.

The wooden spindle and whorl are not glued together- they are two separate pieces which fit together snugly. A small o-ring or rubber hairband is included to help keep the whorl from falling off and whirling across the floor.

Watch these sweet little youtube videos to see some of these spindles at work and some instructions for use. 

Now, down to brass tacks- how do these things work? A bulleted list will help, I think.
* These glass whorls are best for light or lace weight spinning. For making heavier weight yarn, add a bit more whorl weight. More glass or one of missingspindle's pottery whorls should do it!
* If adding extra weight, be sure the whorls will nest properly. Questions? Just ask the shop owner!
* Because the whorls are handmade, they may be a little unbalanced. They have all been tested with the specific stick they are sold with, but will need to be adjusted on the spindle until the place of best balance is found.
* Make sure the whorl is perpendicular on the spindle. Push up tightly and test spin. Move around slightly on the stick until you find the place of best balance (the 'sweet spot').
* Push the o-ring or hairband up below the whorl to keep it right where you want it.
* Load leader on spindle by using a lark's head knot just above the glass whorl (at the bottom of the belly).
* Wind up and around the spindle several times, with several small winds near the top.
* Top off with one or two half hitches around the indented neck to hold the leader in place.
* Spin yarn!
* When loading spun yarn on the stick, center it over the widened belly, winding up and down in a spiral.

What fun for a little different hand spinning experience!