Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I saved the best for last -- Primo's contribution to the farm booth, which Risa mentioned in her kind comment to Monday's post. With my father's and brother's help, he made cherrywood spindles. You can see them down on the left-hand side of my father's much better photo of the roving display.


For those of you who haven't seen a drop spindle in use, I had my personal photog Secondo take some pictures. Unfortunately they didn't come out too well, but the basic idea is: you attach a strand of fiber into the hook at the top of the spindle, and then set the spindle spinning. The spinning motion twists the fiber into a strand; it's the same basic idea as a spinning wheel, just thousands of years earlier on the technological timeline. The weight of the spindle dropping pulls the fiber as it spins it. When the strand gets too long, you wind the spun strand onto the dowel, and start the whole process again. Simple, right? In the same way that patting your belly and rubbing your head at the same time are simple: it just takes a little practice.


Right now, I am spindling up a storm with Coopworth in the "Zucchini" colorway. The weight of the spindles is 2.7 ounces and makes a nice worsted weight two-ply. I am almost done with the first 4 ounces of fiber; it is destined to be a winter hat for the spindle-maker, with a contrasting stripe in "Huckleberry" (a deep navy blue). I'll keep you posted on my progress.


  1. Your booth looks amazing, and the packaging is wonderful! Congrats!

  2. Wow! Good job on those spindles, Primo! They're very pretty -- who doesn't love cherry -- it only gets better with age. And it looks like they're excellent spinners, too, judging by the one you're filling quickly, Kris! Keep on turning, Primo -- the world needs more beautiful spindles! [from Mrs. Spindleguy aka Hatchtown Quality Control Specialist]