Spin-a-long, Spinning, Support Spindles

Spinning in the Not-So-Wild

It’s been alternating between rain, sleet, snow, and just depressing cold, grey blah.  Not much spinning out in the wild these days, but I have hope! At some point, things will dry out enough to take my spindles outside.


In the meantime, here’s a little support spinning in front of the fire.  Oh, and the dog isn’t dead.   Proof of life comes around 19 minutes in when he stretches out a bit without waking up.


Fiber:  the world’s most poorly treated sliver of bamboo, merino, bison, and cashmere. A Louet blend purchased from Paradise Fibers ages years ago.   I have no excuse for its condition.  I am a bad fiber mom.


Tibetan spindle from Texas Jeans.

Shaft: unknown wood, 10 3/4″ long

Whorl:  dyed spalted tamarind

Many thanks to Joshua Lynch for repairing the spindle shaft after Fergie ate it. 

Spindle Bowl:


Made by Niddy  Noddy UK
Hand turned in Hawthorn and Cherry

Length:  5″
Width (at widest point): 2″

Dimple for spindle is 3/4″ across

About the video:
As promised, I haven’t edited out the gloops.  Because I’m using a GoPro to film this, the spindle is farther from my body than it should be.   To keep your body happy when you spin with a support spindle,

  1. keep all of the motion within a forearms length out from your body,
  2. keep your arm range of motion below shoulder height with elbow lower than your wrist.

The temptation is to do a super long draw out and up, so you can make a long, beautiful stretch of yarn.   You can do it, and you will feel like a superhero for the first ten minutes or so.   It puts too much stress on your shoulder. Even if you aren’t feeling the fatigue as you spin, protect your joints so you can spin for many years to come!

About jumping spindles:

I’m using a new spindle bowl and my repaired spindle together for the first time.   I love metal tipped spindles.  They spin fast and last forever.

However, I frequently spin in a bean bag or with my legs up on an ottoman.  Spindles with super low friction tips take advantage of the incline my body position gives to the bowl.  Add in my usual little tilt on the spindle and an over-enthusiastic twirl, and physics launches my spindles into space.  I tried a metal tipped spindle on a corian-lined spindle bowl and managed to get a good 3-4 feet before the cop caught hold so I could reel it back in.  Of course, I was demo’ing in my booth at the time.  Harpooning passers-by is not a wise marketing technique!

Moral of this story-  keep your spindle upright if you don’t want it to spin away!  OR- if you are beyond saving, like me, use a spindle bowl with a small lip or with a deeper bowl and steeper sides.

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