141212 Whorl notches

There was a recent discussion on drop spindle whorl notches on the Fiber Artists and Yarn Spinners Facebook page. Here are my thoughts on notches that I posted.

I’ll jump in here on the discussion of notches. 12 years ago when I started making my True Creations spindles, I had a mentor, Stefania Isaacson, a well known expert. Stef wanted 3 notches, “east, west and south” as I say. The engineer in me said I should cut 4 notches for balance. Stef was also particular on the size of the notch. Too small and it is not useful for bulkier spinning. However, after making and testing several thousand spindles, I have found that the design, orientation and tilt of the hook is the most important factor in a good performing spindle. If the whorl and shaft are perfectly made and the hook is not in the proper location, the spindle will be wonky. Tweak the hook into proper position and the spindle will run true. This is why every drop spindler should have a pair of needle nosed pliers in their bag. Minute tweaks will make a huge performance difference. Say today you are spinning lace weight and tomorrow you are spinning thick, you may need to tweak the hook so the fiber is running down the center line of the spindle. In summary, hook centering is more important than the number or location of notches. Notches just make it easier to bring your fiber onto the hook.