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How to Test a Drop Spindle

So you’re off to shop for a drop spindle, in a shop or at a fibre festival. You see a pretty awesome looking drop spindle. It looks so nice and pretty, but does it spin? A good drop spindle should spin well for a long time. A well balanced drop spindle will slow down as it runs out of torque but it should not reverse (or not much). If a drop spindle starts to reverse quickly it is going to lose all the lovely twist you have just added the yarn.

Some show vendors will have fibre in the booth that you can test on but if you’re not comfortable showing off you’re spindle skills or if your a newbie and don’t want to try that fibre just yet, what I would recommend is bringing along a length of yarn or string. It should be about 2 meters long (2 yards will do too) and tied together. You can put that loop of yarn onto the hook of the spindle, hold it by the top loop of the yarn dropping it a couple of feet and give the spindle a flick twist with your fingers.

Watch the spindle, does it spin? YES! For how long, more than a few seconds! YES! Is there a noticeable wobble in the spindle? NO! Does it quickly reverse direction? NO! Then it looks like you have a good spindle to spin on.

Like most I love a pretty spindle, but I also need for my spindles to do what I bought them for and that is to spin and spin well. I hope this helps you with your next spindle shopping experience.

Loving my Lendrum

I have a few wheels, well maybe a few more than a few but to be clear I have friends who have more wheels than me, a lot more than me. No, I don’t feel guilty about having more than a few spinning wheels, not really.

I have recently completed my 6 year program for my Ontario Hand Spinners Certificate. For the majority of that program’s assignments I used my upright Lendrum spinning wheel. Lendrum wheels are a Canadian spinning wheel, made by Gord Lendrum for hand spinners. They are the unwritten preference for a wheel for the OHS certificate program. 

I didn’t buy my Lendrum for the OHS program, in fact it is the only wheel in my collection I didn’t buy. My husband, who can always surprise me, bought me my Lendrum. It is my first wheel, and will be my last wheel. It is a precious gift that I will always love and care for. 

The 6 year OHS certificate program is not for the light hearted, it is a tremendous amount of work, it requires 8 full days of in class schooling each summer and an average of 250 hours of homework assignments for each of those 6 years. It can tire you out and for some it can take away the joy of spinning for some time after you finish. I still suffer from constant thoughts of shouldn’t I be doing spinning homework, but it’s all done. For six years though I’ve had that feeling/pressure and it is hard to make it go away.

Each night I sit in my living room and I look at my Lendrum, her name is Lenny Louise, and I think we should be spinning together but we don’t. It is sad really, I don’t want to ignore her, but I think I associate her with homework. I think my mind needs to separate from school thoughts and at times the overwhelming amount of stress that was part of the OHS certificate spinning program. 

Right now Lenny Louise has some lovely fibre half spun on her and I plan to finish it, but I think I need to feel that she is not a school anymore, before I can finish the spinning I have started. I have been spinning on every other wheel I have here, but not Lenny Louise. She is a good friend though and patiently waits for me to get over whatever it is I need to get over. I know she is my best friend  in a spinning wheel, and will wait for me to get my mind, hands and heart together again to spin on her. For now she waits for me, and I look at her every night and think soon, Lenny Louise, soon.

Jane