*Note: The products we mention below are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something we recommend, we get a commission through Amazon. It doesn't increase the price on your end. Also, all of the products we recommend here we either own or use personally.*
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
Our Favorite Things