look what i made!!

I’m feeling very proud of myself as today I made a drop spindle and its so lovely to use. When i first learned to spin i made one out of dowel and CDs, and it was wobbly and i hated it…probably more because my shoulder was more painful then than it is now…but certainly the crapness of the spindle had a part in it. I did however enjoy the drafting and spinning itself, so i found a nice cheap Haldane wheel on ebay (which is beautiful, i shall have to remember to photo it for the blog one day), and never thought about spindles again. However I’m now getting to learn the limitations of my wheel. spinning laceweight is a pain, the highest ratio just isn’t fast enough, so i get bored, and get a sore leg. I’m planning to make a smaller whorl. but need to get a couple of bits to make it work (and to make it so i don’t have to change existing parts at all, its too beautiful to do that to), so I decided that in the meantime i’d try making a small and fast spindle. The lathe hasn’t been used for a while, so the longest part of the process was the taking it apart and cleaning and oiling it. After that, it was a pretty quick job…a chunky disc of delrin, an acrylic rod, some polishing and a hook, and it was ready, the hook needed bending a few times to get it to spin dead straight, and now it does, and i love it. I can’t see it replacing the wheel any time soon though, even though my shoulder is better, it does still get sore very quickly.

 The only downside of it is that it spins wonderfully once it touches the floor, due to my nice laminate flooring (which, incidentally, makes my wheel slide around, unless i use castor cups), so I can let it sit on the floor until i’m happy with the amount of twist. Great in theory, but the floor noise is apparently a signal to cats to come and play. I looked down a couple of times when i could feel the spindle pulling to one side, to see monkey with her paw hooked around the shaft. I’m hoping the novelty will wear off.

 I’m planning to make a couple of pretty hardwood ones next, I have some pink ivory and boxwood and something which looks like walnut but isn’t. Unfortunately they are square cross section stock, so I will need to borrow some tools to get them cut and rounded off before i can turn them, but it’ll be a quick job…I might take some to my parents’ tomorrow and borrow my dad’s tools.

And, without further ado, here’s my new spindle!


See those grey blobby bits in the pic? That’s dirt on my sensor 🙁 ..or maybe the lens, but i fear a sensor cleaning is in order. They don’t show up at f11 (unless you really look for them), which is what my yarn pics are normally taken at, but i upped it to f16 or so cos of all the white in the pic….I don’t know how to change the exposure compensation on my camera in manual mode…the button combination that does it in AP mode changes the aperture size in M mode, so rather than find the manual or look on the internet, I decided to cheat and close the aperture some. bad move…stupid grey blobs! I need to (1) learn how to use my camera properly (2) find (and remember to use!) my ND filters (3) turn the lights down (if they go down any further, i can’t remember) (4) move the lights back. Any combination of the above would be good, but I really should do them all so i can shoot at f8 or so for ‘normal’ pics, and have the opportunity to do arty wide open shallow depth of field type pics too when desired.

One thought on “look what i made!!”

  1. It’s a great spindle!! 🙂 I’m scared of my one and only spindle. I only use my wheel at the moment.
    Also, just remembered, I saw a square whorl(?) spindle not so long ago on someones blog. It looked really funky and they said it was a dream to use.. Now who was it… :s

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