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November 01, 2006



Thank you for explaining why the boat anchor I got years ago was so daunting. I may look for a proper spindle and try again. The link to Jim Childs' website was also very helpful.


Hi Ted, sounds as though you had a great time at Rhinebeck with all the gang.

Recently, I was given a spindle made of a CD and dowling. I haven't practiced much with it because of shoulder problems, but it seems very light to me. The woman who gave it to me was able to spin beautifully with it. I'll take your advice and just practice.

ps This is my first attempt at spinning.


Oooh! I'm so happy to have clicked through from somewhere else. Thank you for writing and posting this.

I bought my first/only spindle at MS&W in May and i've been quite intimidated, looking at it...sitting in the basket with the bag of roving. Sigh.

Dave over at Cabin Cove has been very encouraging and i did bust out the spindle once...it didn't go so well.

I'll try again. I promise!



Thank you for your generous posts. I have a wheel but no spindle (yet!) and you have given me many clues to get started.


Thank you for sharing all of your spinning wisdom. If you want to know about the physics, there's an article in Spindlicity

According to the article, since a center-weighted spindle would spin faster, it might be a good choice if you were working with a fiber which required more twist. (I can't verify it personally, since I don't have a center-weighted spindle myself).

Warrior Knitter

I can hardly belive this. Just this evening I posted on my blog that I'd been inspired by all the Rhinebeck bloggers & their wonderful knits that were hand-dyed, hand-spun, hand-knit from their own pattern & proudly worn. I want to learn to spin with a spindle. I posted that I think most of my problem is the crappy spindle that came with the kit that but I needed to do some research.

And here you are! I think this means that the student is ready for the teacher. THANKS!


I think t might be right - that you would want a shaft weighted spindle for something that would create a quicker turn and a more firm twist. I would think it would be really good for something like silk of cotton - but I'm not sure.

I was in class this weekend and Merike Saarniit was hesitant to suggest spindles to work with as a beginner - but my first spindles were an Ashford (which I don't much like - too heavy), a Bosworth (which i like plenty but can't find), and a Hatchtown (which I love and use most often - tho the fact that there's no notch is a tad annoying).

Great post - looking forward to reading pt 2!


I think that the concept of the shaft-weighted is to have a fast-spinning 'straight-spinning' spindle that doesn't try to "helicopter off". That doesn't really work that well in practice, though. As you've found.

The spindles I make and use are generally 'edge weighted', but not as heavy as what you're recommending (.75-1 oz). Some are more or less balanced as to weight (neither edge weighted nor shaft-weighted), and behave more like the 'cd spindles' people make.


A good fiber for beginners is Bluefaced Leicester. It spins easily and is very soft and you can get it in a variety of colors. Make sure you get Bluefaced and not Border or some other Leicester if you want the soft feel.

A center weighted spindle would be used for very fine laceweight with a short staple where you want the spindle to spin fast. Problems with center weighted spindles arise when people try to make yarn that is too thick for them, and the spindle stops too quickly. If you are making the right size yarn, center weighted spindles can be the perfect tool. Center weighted spindles are more often used as supported spindles, but you can also use them as a suspended spindle.

There is a third category other than center or rim weighted, and that is evenly weighted. A lot of spindles fall into that category, including CD spindles, Mongold spindles and many other flat whorl spindles.


Just great info - clearly written too. I have one spindle which has the weight around the center of the whorl and that is my Priscilla spindle. However it is a lap spindle - so explains it. It spins well suspended too - I learnt to spin on it and then I fell into the arms of Bosworth . Hatchtown are hard to come but I tried.
Smiles from Ingrid in Sweden

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