Getting To Know Each Other


Now that the commission yarn is finished, I’m taking the time for a little selfish spinning. I raided the stash and pitted the fiber against each other until there was a clear winner. I pulled them apart just short of felting. What came out on top was a lovely polworth/silk blend from Gale’s Art appropriately named Indian Corn. I had the loose idea of spinning a worsted weight 2-ply yarn. The colors get to do their own thing since the real purpose of this yarn is for me and my Jenkins Swan spindle to get to know each other. I’ve only spun a tiny little mini skein so far and it’s time that changed.


When I started spinning this single, my hands were still in lace weight mode and it took me a while to reset my fingers, so to speak. The spindle kept dropping but at least the singles were getting a decent thickness. As I was working and adding more singles to the arms, the spindle started to spin differently. It would still spin for a long time but at a much slower speed than when the cop (Is the collected yarn on a turkish drop spindle still called a cop or is that just on whorled drop spindles?) was smaller. I’m going to chalk this phenomenon up to the extra weight on the spindle from the singles and physics. Blast you, you increasing moment of inertia!

I really need to figure out how to build a cop upward on a turkish spindle instead of just outward. Any pointers?


A turkish spindle is comprised of 3 separate parts: the shaft and 2 arms. I knew this and, yet, didn’t expect the arms to get stuck on the shaft because of how many times I dropped it. A high number that. Anyway, when I was unwrapping the spindle for the first time, there was a little slip of paper from Jenkins Woodworking that came to my rescue:

Ed’s Unique Compression Fit Shaft: Vertical slits for releasing pressure if the shaft becomes stuck when dropped. If the shaft seems impossible to remove, place the entire spindle in a plastic bag and place in freezer about 30 minutes. 

So, that’s what I did except I was distracted by the internet and left if in for another 15 minutes. The spindle still popped apart without any difficulty and none the worse for wear. 


Compression slits, you are both gentlemen and scholars.

I’ve only just started spinning the second half of my fiber but I’ve already learned so much. How building a cop affects rotation and speed. How much fiber I can comfortably pack on. How to rescue my singles if the spindle ever acts stubborn. What might be most important is that the pair of us will be spinning yarn together for a long time. Hmm, I think he needs a name now.