knittedgems

Top Whorl Question and Buttons

In Spinning, Swap on October 5, 2008 at 8:42 am

I had promised to give my opinion on my new top whorl spindle.

The experience was so awful compared to my Jenkin’s Turkish spindle that I must question whether or not I used the top whorl correctly. Seriously.

Before I go any further, I want to stress that by no means do I believe that my bad experience has anything to do with Dragoncraft’s craftsmanship. Dragoncraft makes beautiful and well-loved spindles. Their feedback is 100% positive. This, of course, makes me believe that the problem does indeed lie close to home.

I chose to spin Shetland roving on it. It had spun up so quickly and evenly on my Turkish that I felt it would provide a fair and accurate report on the top whorl’s ability. I used Red Heart’s Super Saver as a leader (I’ll be darned if I’m wasting my good wool on a leader strand). Then, I started to draft and spin the Shetland. Rolling the whorl on my thigh or flicking it hard with my fingers produced a fast and balanced spin. Yet, the spin didn’t last long.

There is a clause about the top whorl I bought. I knew when purchasing this top whorl that since the whorl was not located at the top of the shaft, the spindle would wobble at bit until I started adding spun yarn underneath the whorl.

I should write a 2nd clause about my lack of patience. In 10 minutes flat, I was frustrated and looking for my tin whistle (to blow off some steam). Needless to say, not a lot of spun wool got wound underneath the whorl.

OK. Clauses aside, the spindle didn’t just wobble a bit when spun slowly; it wobbled like it was 3 sheets to the wind, swinging like a pendulum. It couldn’t hold a slow spin any better than a drunk person. I had read that a top whorl could spin fast or slow. True, it was designed for speed, but any spindle should be able to spin at any speed. Right?

So, after all my rambling, here’s my question: Does a top whorl spindle typically wobble when spinning slowly?

If the answer is Yes to the above question, the top whorl is going to be looking for a new home. I prefer a long, slow spin. There is often a baseball game going on when I am spinning and half of my attention is pinned on the game. (Which by the way, we lost last night.)

I’ve already ripped the Shetland off the top whorl and put the spindle aside, focusing on my Turkish which is spinning an alpaca and Shetland blend.

From Spinning

Spinning aside, let me show you the buttons I received in the mail.

Although I wish there were such things as button fairies that randomly sent buttons in the mail to people who could appreciate them, these buttons were received because of a swap I participated in. Mandy of SewSpun hosted the button swap last month. The Purple Lady was my swap parter.

I signed up for the swap because, to be honest, I have a lot of buttons. I thought it would be so neat to give away some of my collection in exchange for … more buttons. It made perfect sense to me.

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  1. The button swap sounds fun! I know nothing about spindles so I can’t help ya there.
    We couldn’t find any baseball games last night!? Sorry to hear they lost. I am headed over to the MLB now to see the scores.

  2. You know, I have discovered that for myself, if a top whorl spindle doesn’t have a notch in it, or a good place to put your half hitch then the spindling is just horrible. So, although Dragon Craft has beautiful, beautiful spindles, the one you own has no hook, no notch and not a lot of room for the half hitch. . . so maybe it’s not all you, eh?

  3. That is so strange that the spindle is giving you problems! I have a top whorl from Dragoncraft (she shows a picture of my custom spindle in her custom listing, which I think is neat- http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13044784 it’s the green dragon in the last picture). I usually prefer bottom whorls, but I love this top whorl and use it more than any other spindle.

    The only thing I can think of is the reason junepot gave- that it’s not balanced right (or is hard to spin) because it doesn’t have a hook at the top, and maybe you’d work better with a hooked top whorl?

    And those buttons are cute!

  4. Love the buttons, after reading about your spindle I switched to a bottom whorl. I had a top whorl and some roving in a kit for several years. I would experiment several times and toss it aside.
    When I switched to a bottom whorl, it suddenly cllicked for me, then I got a spinning bowl (so mine is supported) this is much easier for me.
    Good luck
    Vicki
    It’s a beautiful spindle

  5. Oh! I forgot to mention in my first reply that I nominated you for an award in my blog. :)

  6. You know, I’ve been inspired by your spinning and wait till you see what I got, but now you’re scaring me. Hope I’ve made the right decision.

  7. The button swap sounds like a fun idea. I love buttons – there are so many pretty ones out there and they really do make or break a project.

  8. I have been wanting to learn to spin lately. I decided to stick to a drop spindle because I don’t have any room for a wheel I love the spindle you chose its pretty.

  9. I recently got a spindle on eBay, but haven’t tried to use it yet, as I have NEVER spun before,. The one you have is so beautiful, is it made of glass?

    The buttons I sent you do not even compare to the beautiful buttons you sent to me…you really outdid yourself on the package you sent to me…thank so very much! Great appreciated.

  10. I know I’m more than a year late to the party, but…I’m horrible with top whorl spindles, and it’s not for lack of trying. I do very well with bottom-whorl spindles. I suspect it has to do with how the spinner moves, stands or sits, and how he or she flicks the spindle. If I had any idea how to describe how I spin with a spindle, I would. But I don’t–I just do it, and I’ve been “just doing it” since 1972. I’m sure my technique has evolved over the years, but again, I am completely unable to describe how in any sensible way. Perhaps you are simply a “bottom whorl” person like me.

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