When I started spinning I only had one spindle that was a gift, then I bought two more that became my most used spindles. Both made by ButterflyGirl, but I've replaced the shaft of the first one. What I like about them is that they are light, have stone whorls, and long shafts with hooks. I like the first spindle just as well, but it's twice as heavy, so I mostly use it for plying or supported.
This is the spindle that started my love for stone whorls. When I saw it, I fell in love immediately. I didn't have much experience then, and had tried only one spindle before, so I didn't know that the lovely polka dotted shaft the whorl was on, was way too short for me, and hard to get going because the shaft top was square. There are other spinning styles that I could have used, but I was still learning and didn't know about them.
The "Before" is actually after I'd lost the rubber grommet from the whorl, and just pushed it up as far as it went. The "After" is after getting a new grommet and putting it on a new, longer, shaft. It weighs 20 grams with the new shaft. The new shaft is a chopstick made from wood, sharpened a bit at the bottom and with a hook on top. It spins beautifully and even though this chopstick is squared at the top as well, the corners are rounded and don't hurt my fingers. Love it!
This one I bought at the same time. It came with a longer shaft that is sharpened, and also has a hook. It weighs 42 grams. I originally used it to only ply, but it works perfectly well for spinning singles as well. The sharpened shafts mean that I could use both spindles as supported, if I needed to. This makes it possible to put quite a big cop on the spindle even when it has become too heavy to use suspended.
Like this. This yarn is a single (even if it looks plied) and there is no way it could have supported the weight of the spindle and the cop without breaking. Those are grams on the display, the spindle itself weighs 42 grams, so that cop weighs 140 grams, which is way too heavy for suspended style spinning. I love it that I can pack so much yarn on a spindle, that's why I prefer long shafts and bottom whorls.
So, what's the problem? The problem is that I only had three modern spindles, and every time I wanted to start a new project, I had to remove a cop in progress from a spindle. That can mess up that cop and make the yarn completely unusable. To begin The Great Batt Experiment, I took off the TDF consistency practice singles from the spindle and I'm not sure I can get it back on.
The solution, of course, was to get more spindles. I purchased a new spindle in the style I love (stone whorl, long shaft, hook) in January. Thanks to the problems with postal service, I still have not received it, so I decided to make a few spindles myself. I figured that I'd get some chopsticks, some stone doughnuts, hooks, drill bits, and grommets. How hard could that be?
Turns out that getting everything but the grommets was not hard at all. For grommets, I had to order them via Internet from China! Turns out, there are no hardware stores, car parts stores, or motorcycle stores that sell grommet assortment packs here in Scandinavia or Finland, or anywhere I could find that had an European supplier, online or off.
The making of the spindles was not hard at all just fiddly in parts. I put the grommets on doughnuts (the smallest stone gave me some trouble because the hole was so small), drilled the holes in the chopsticks, screwed the hooks in, and shoved the whorls onto the shafts. Voilà! More spindles.
A small black-and-white stone whorl on a black lacquered chopstick with a hook on top. It weighs 16 grams.
A green stone whorl on a black lacquered chopstick with a hook on top. It weighs 25 grams.
A snowflake obsidian stone whorl on a brown chopstick with a hook on top. It weighs 22 grams.
A snowflake obsidian stone whorl on a bamboo chopstick with a hook on top. It weighs 23 grams.
A stone whorl with fossils on a knitting needle. It weighs 30 grams.
A small green stone whorl on a knitting needle. It weighs 9 grams. I reused a knitting needle that came with a Mali bead supported spindle, but was a bit too short for me again. This green stone fits perfectly and provides just the right amount of weight and momentum for supported spinning.
I've recorded the new spindles on Ravelry, that way I can include them in the spinning projects there. There is a tool list already, but it doesn't have the pictures, and I prefer to be able to see which spindle I've used for which project instead of a name like 'Stone Spindle #3'. I'm ready for new spinning projects now, whenever the inspiration strikes.