Supported Spindles

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Top 10 Contributor
Posts 195
Gwen Powell wrote
on Feb 10, 2009 4:13 PM

Hi all,

Though I love my Spindlewood spindles and enjoy my damasine Golding, I am hooked and always have been on supported spindles.  I love Navajo spindles and large heave supported spindles more than the small fine ones, where are good too.  My favorite is one I turned my self made out of Mexican Kingwood.  It is a wonderful purple and white.  It's sister spindle was even better but I gave it to a special friend and spinner, Judith Freed, for her 60th birthday.

I feel I can spin anything on the Navajo or my handturned supported spindles.

Gwen Powell

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Posts 15
on Feb 10, 2009 10:37 PM

Hi Gwen,

 

Steve at Spindlewood makes awesome support spindles too if you ask him nicely!

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Posts 195
Gwen Powell wrote
on Feb 11, 2009 6:18 AM

Yes Ingrid,

There were none left at SOAR by the time I got to the market.  Then my budget was blown.  I will order one at a later date whe the economy picks up.

Gwen

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Posts 15
on Feb 12, 2009 10:36 PM

Ahh -mine is a custom, and there were some Tibetans at  Rovings. I looked long and hard for support spindles myself, and while Carolina Homespun had some lovely looking ones( like quill pencils with a stand) I wasn't  very impressed by the way they twirled compared to the ones I have- but they were quickoly gone. We should tell the spindle makers that we want some :) I'm often told when I ask that there is simply no demand for them. Perhaps after this SOAR it might change after Stephenie's workshop.

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Posts 25
on Aug 1, 2009 9:28 AM

Gwen Powell:

My favorite is one I turned my self made out of Mexican Kingwood.  It is a wonderful purple and white.  It's sister spindle was even better but I gave it to a special friend and spinner, Judith Freed, for her 60th birthday.

I feel I can spin anything on the Navajo or my handturned supported spindles.

Gwen Powell,

 

I've wanted a Navajo spindle ever since I read about them, but haven't found one  that's long enough to work while I'm seated in a chair, and misplaced the book that had directions for making them.  I'm with you on supported spindles and heavy ones at that. I've only got one, that was made for me as a wish list spindle. That is, I talked with the woodworker, Nate Stipek, and told him what I wanted, and answered a few questions, picked my woods, and left it to his discretion. He came back with something that I could happily use every day.  (and I do)

 

Top 25 Contributor
Posts 61
on Aug 15, 2009 6:30 PM

The first supported spindle I always think of is my tahkli -- it goes like lightning.  But actually, my favorite is my Akha. Because I don't have to be seated with a dish to spin it -- they are really cool spindles to spin on.

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Posts 5
Chingachgook wrote
on Aug 19, 2009 8:21 PM

Yeh. My akha is where I go when I want to be mobile, not locked down in a chair. Maybe because it doesn't have to be connected to lap or earth or gravity, but is wiling to go along with whatever surrounding it is in? ... 

 

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Posts 5
Chingachgook wrote
on Aug 19, 2009 8:39 PM

My very best and favorite navajo-style spindle is one my husband built from an oak dowel (thickish and longish--try your length sitting down) and a circle cut by hand from an orange-crate end (pine). I then wedged the whorl in place with a half-width matchstick, and sanded to taste, rounding both ends. It's much better to use for long sessions than the professional "brand-name" one I bought a few years later, in love with a store-bought advert. The length is just right, and the lighter-weight pine whorl spins more easily, with less effort than the thicker hardwood one. For what it's worth, the diameter of the pine whorl is wider than the hardwood store-bought one. Remember, this is a seemingly low-tech item, traditionally self-made, or from a "honey-do list... 

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Posts 4
babyhal wrote
on Feb 13, 2011 10:04 AM

I make my own - I use 1/16" dowels and whatever cool-looking bead I find.  I find that drawer knobs - round wooden ones - works really well, as do the small wooden toy wheels you can get at places like Micheals.  I run the ends of the dowels in a pencil sharpener for a nice point.  I have several that were custom made by a woodworker who usually turns things like pens and I like them a lot, but they are bigger than the ones I make.  He made me a matching bowl that is very very smooth that I use for all my spindles.

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Posts 4
pae94037 wrote
on Mar 16, 2012 12:12 AM

Have you seen the new book on a flash drive called "Fleegle Spins Supported?" It's just out, and has already found a place at the top of my spinning library as the most used one of all. What I like is Fleegle's (her Ravelry name) sense of humor that permeates the whole book as well as the 25 short videos that are included. She assumes that you can't spin anything on anything if you don't understand something about fiber, fiber types and fiber preparation, so she starts there. Her emphasis is on the finer fibers most often used with support spindles. There are lots of books that start there, but after reading this one and watching the videos, I finally have a better grasp of the basics. She also covers drafting and plying on support spindles. The sections on these spindles goes through the various types, where they come from, how they're made and some of the wood turners who make them available, wonderful photos that made me go out and buy several of them, and, of course, how to spin on them. She goes through yarn evaluation, measurement and finishing also. I love the videos, because they're all very focused, close up, with plain, neutral backgrounds and colored yarns...nothing you don't need to see and everything you do! They start at normal speed, and then go into slow motion so you don't miss a trick. You can see and order it at http://fleeglesblog.blogspot.com/

This book has become a permanent attachment to my laptop's USB drive, and it runs on all computer platforms. Because of it, I'm learning to love support spindles, where I never gave them a second glance before. I didn't know what I was missing!

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Posts 8
dalenem1 wrote
on Jan 18, 2013 2:24 PM

Pae94037,

 

I just posted about finding a book on supported spindles.  I just read your post.  Thank you for the information.  I will get on that.  I got a Tibetan spindle from KLC from my husband and I love it.  But I need more information and can't find it on youtube.  Thank you so much for this information.

 

mammaearly

 

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Posts 6
on Aug 11, 2014 7:50 PM

I received a Russian supported spindle from a friend, and I haven't figured out how to use it, other than to whirl it without any fiber on it. Can you help me get started?

 

Thanks!

 

Betsy

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Posts 8
dalenem1 wrote
on Aug 11, 2014 9:04 PM

Hi Besty,

 

I use a Tibetan supported spindle.  I asked my knitting instructor about the differences and she said they are the same to start.  So my suggestion is to look up Lisa Chan on YouTube.com.  She has a video on how to begin winding on fiber on a Russian spindle.  Once you understand how to do that, you will love the supported spindle.  I take it everywhere with me.  Good luck and happy spinning

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 6
on Aug 12, 2014 7:18 AM

dalenem1,

 

Thank-you...Someone was telling me yesterday that maybe the reason I'm having trouble getting the fiber to "Spin" before it winds, is the kind of fiber I'm using? I'm using what was sent with the spindle, which I think is merino. What do you think?

Top 500 Contributor
Posts 6
on Aug 13, 2014 12:27 PM

Hey, I finally figured out how to use it! My yarn is by no means perfect...quite different in thickness, in different areas, but I'm working on it!

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