An Old Dog Learns New Tricks

My success in spinning up the mohair/Shetland fiber I bought along with a spindle from KeepEmGoing on Etsy inspired to me keep at it. I assembled the Turkish spindle I bought from Knit Picks, broke out the Wool of the Andes fiber in Natural, also from Knit Picks, and went to work.

A Turkish spindle has a whorl that is made out of two cross pieces, one of which slides into the other; then the cross pieces slip onto the shaft and stop at the knob.

           

The yarn is then wound over the cross pieces.

Spun singles wound on Turkish spindle

When it’s time to remove the cop (the wound yarn), you slide the shaft out of the cross pieces,

The shaft of the Turkish spindles has been removed

pull the one cross piece out of the other,

The first cross piece has been removed

take the yarn off the second cross piece, and you are left with a nice, neat center-pull ball.

The second cross piece has been removed leaving a center-pull ball

Yes, that is plied yarn you see in those pictures. I used the Turkish spindle to ply the singles I had made and ended up with a nice skein of two-ply yarn.

My yarn hand-spun from Wool of the Andes roving on the Turkish spindle

There are different ways to wind the yarn; the most common one seems to be to go over two, under one. Winding the yarn this way results in a very neat ball.

The bottom of the ball looks like an “Ojo de Dios” or “God’s Eye”

The Turkish spindle required some adjustments from me. Whereas my other spindle is a high whorl spindle, the Turkish spindle is a low whorl spindle. And there’s no hook on the top of the shaft on which to anchor the yarn, so I have to use a half-hitch knot to anchor the yarn. The Knit Picks Turkish spindle is designed to be reversible, that is, you can turn the shaft upside down and put the cross pieces on so that they form a high whorl. I haven’t tried it as a high-whorl spindle yet.

Knit Picks Turkish spindle assembled as a high whorl spindle

When I first started spinning on the Turkish spindle, I wasn’t in love with it. It doesn’t spin as fast as my little high whorl spindle, and it doesn’t spin as long. But I did like winding the yarn around the cross pieces, and I don’t mind doing and undoing the half-hitch knot to attach and unattach the yarn. As I practiced with this spindle, I started to develop a feel for it, and it began to grow on me. After a couple of days of practice, I had developed a nice rhythm with this spindle.

Those of you who are my loyal readers know that I am not a monogamous knitter. I always have multiple knitting projects OTN. So it won’t surprise you to learn that I am not a monogamous spinner, noob though I be. I was curious to learn how the WotA fiber, which is the same Peruvian Highland wool that is used for Knit Picks WotA yarn, would spin up on my little high whorl spindle. I chose the Aurora Heather, which is a heather forest green, and went to work.

Aurora Heather Wool of the Andes fiber spun on a .75 oz high whorl spindle

Yep, I’m hooked. 🙂

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