Monday, 12 September 2011

Gorgeous new spindles

Recently I commisioned a friend, Murray Dunan, to make some spindles. The Ashford Student spindles that I have been recomending to beginners for a while are perfectly adequate, but it seems a bit daft for me to encourage the import of this simplest of all tools from halfway across the globe. We have the capapbility here to produce good spindles, so lets leave Ashfords doing what they do so well, producing excellent practical spinning wheels at affordable prices, and have some spindles made right here in Perthshire.

Murray is an engineer to trade, and a few years ago he learned to spin, initially using a spindle, at one of my classes. So he has the skills to make the spindles and a good understanding of what is needed. I asked him to make a basic spindle for beginners who want to learn, but don't want to spend more than they have to, and a more deluxe spindle for those who like something a bit special.

After some discussion, some prototypes and some more discussion, here is what Murray came up with. They spin like a dream!!

Simple spindle, ideal for beginners                         £7.50 + £1.50 p&p
The rim of the whorl has four shallow grooves which prevent the leader yarn slipping when you are threading up.The hook at the tip of the shaft can easily be removed if you prefer fixing the yarn with a half-hitch, as I do, or even fixed at the other end if you want to try a top-whorl spindle.     Weight 80- 90g

Deluxe Hardwood whorl Spindles - each one unique                 from £17 + £1.50 p&p

Using a variety of hardwoods, each whorl is turned to a unique shape. The four shallow grooves in the rim are still present, along with some decorative turning on the whorl.
The other thing that really makes these spindles special is that each one has a specially shaped shaft, finished with a little thistle head at the tip. The thistle replaces a hook, or a notch in the shaft, making an easy and effective way of anchoring the yarn while being a reminder that you have a truely Scottish spindle.  For bottom-whorl use. Weight 70 - 80g (varies)

Also available for special order with hook for alternative use as top-whorl spindle

If you would like one of Murray's hand-turned spindles, drop me an e-mail at You can pay by PayPal using the same address.