My mother, a trooper, volunteered/invited me to decorate a Christmas tree for charity. When we arrived at the expo center, I felt immersed in Santa's workshop. Christmas music floated over 2,000+ square feet of Christmas trees, gingerbread houses, and quilts donated by volunteers to benefit a local hospital. My experience as a temporary Christmas elf got me thinking: how would I decorate my own tree? Now, accidentally, I have the answer: I could print my own drop spindles!
I have, unfortunately, a grievous confession to make. St. Patrick was not, in fact, Irish. Eeee! He did, though, to be very fair, spend a great deal of time in Ireland and is considered one of Ireland's patron saints because of his charitable work, and not necessarily for his descent.
I have, equally unfortunately, another grievous confession: our celtic spindle is not actually celtic. Eeee!
We've been working hard for the last few months, and we've finally decided to release our first three spindles: the Celtic, the Turkish, and the Navajo spindle.
The Celtic and the Turkish spindles are drop spindles; meaning, you literally drop them and twist to spin. Joseph--years ago--made his very first drop spindle from a gavel he found at a thrift store. It was the very first video posted on the YouTube channel. We've upgraded a little since then. I love how the Celtic spindle looks as it spins.
The Navajo spindle is a supported spindle, meaning you spin while the spindle is in contact with the floor, like in this video.
As always, the design files are available free on Thingiverse. We also, for anyone who doesn't have a 3D printer, carry them in the Good and Basic Shop on Etsy.
Stay tuned for more posts about spindles and prototypes!
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For some reason, I associate anything Turkish with pointed shoes. As a full disclaimer, they probably don't wear pointed shoes in Turkey. When I searched curled toe shoes on Google, all I could find were buffalo-looking shoe covers. Very awesome, in their own way, but not what I had in mind. Update: I was reading through a book on fibers during the Bronze and Iron ages and guess what I found: curl-toed shoes in the Balkans! Success!
Turkish spindles, however, are slightly curved. They look like an x squished into a bowl. My boys like to use ours as grappling hooks or "anchors" because of the hooked shape of the prongs.
Actually, the design is pretty clever. The two curved legs of the spindle slide into the shaft and stay there with a tension fit. Once you drop the spindle and spin a length of thread, you wind over and under in a pattern. Then, once all the thread has been spun, you slide the x pieces off of the distaff and remove them from the thread. Ta da! Yarn pre-wound in a ball! It's one of the only spindles I know of that makes a full ball of yarn at the end of the spinning process.
If you're a visual person like me, maybe that written description didn't make sense. Perhaps watching a tutorial might help. The Woolery posted an excellent video about Turkish spindles. I also enjoyed the video from Lisa at Soulful Spinning.
Fair warning: watching someone work a Turkish spindle is mildly hypnotizing. The drop/twist motion and the patterned winding are both oddly satisfying.
Apparently Turkish spindles are also very, very old. Finding information about ancient Turkish spindles can be a little tricky. I'm not exactly sure what makes a Turkish spindle "antique." I'd love to see more pictures or articles about the history. More research required.
Joseph & Aubrey Bjork