As promised, today I have my favourite Turkish spindle Vera, unclothed. I also have a new way of storing her when she’s not in use, I’ll show you that first.
It’s been rare in the last couple of months for me to go anywhere without Vera in my bag, and so I’ve been wanting something safe and secure to store her in. As a Turkish spindle, she has the advantage of a removable shaft, which converts her to two flat(ish) pieces that are easier to store. As much as I love Vera, I’m not one to be very precise with my spindles. Spindles are meant to spin, I’d rather see one used and go through everyday wear and tear, than kept on a shelf and not doing what they’re made for. However, there’s no need to put Vera at undue risk of damage, and I was particularly concerned about her shaft, which is made from a lighter wood than her Verawood crosspieces, and comes to a delicate point.
A lot of people seem to store their Turkish spindles in ice-cream jars or tupperware, which would certainly do the job, but wouldn’t be particularly practical for me. I wanted something that I’d carry in my purse, so not too bulky was a must, pretty is nice too :)
And here’s my solution, a cute little leather pure… with a dragon pattern!
Vera fits in when disassembled, along with a decent amount of fibre, enough to do me for at least a day of spinning fine.
And importantly, Vera’s shaft is safe at the bottom, since the purse has enough structure that it wont fold in my bag (while still being able to collapse down somewhat at the top, so that it doesn’t take up too much room).
And here’s Vera next to her new dragon-skin coat, looking pretty, (plus obligatory Peekay photobomb).
Since Vera was feeling pretty weighed down, I thought that it was just about time to remove her turtle (aka cop), which gives me a chance to show her to you in all her beauty.
You might be thinking that she didn’t exactly look full, and you’d be right. Vera has long delicate arms, she could hold a lot of fibre if I wanted to pack as much as possible on. But the more fibre that’s on her, the heavier she gets, and the slower she spins. I’m spinning quite fine, with a high twist, and silk weighs her down quickly. Once she starts to slow down, it becomes difficult to get enough twist into the fine yarn.
I could persist, slowing down my draft to let the twist accumulate, but that wouldn’t actually achieve much. While this turtle might be small, I’m spinning fine enough that there are still many many meters worth of single in it, and I’m planing on weaving with this yarn eventually, so it will have to be cut into shorter lengths anyway. Plus it’s so easy to remove the turtle from a Turkish spindle and start a new one, there’s really very little to be gained (beyond enjoying the challenge) from trying to pack a huge amount of fibre on.
You might have noticed that the turtle I took off Vera was looking a bit ragged. In general you can use the turtle like a ball, and ply straight from it. But the top most layers can be a bit unstable, which becomes problematic if you want to store it for a time before using it. To deal with this I’ll butterfly (wind between two fingers in a figure-eight) those layers back on my hand…
And then wrap them back around the turtle, securing the layers below.
And finally for Vera herself. First this is the bottom for her crosspieces, with her information, in pink, which makes me happy.
And from the side. How does Wanda Jenkins right so neatly on such a tiny surface, it’s not even flat! You can really see that these spindles are all handmade from the space in the wide arm.
And the top. I just adore the pattern in the Verawood.
Plus the delicate shaft that I’m so keen to protect. I do love this shaft, the point makes it so easy to really set Vera flying.
Step one of construction.
And all together… it’s quite frustrating trying to photograph a Turkish spindle, the crosspieces and the shaft are never in focus at the same time.
From the bottom again.
And back into her coat, ready to start on a new turtle.