Turkish Spindle Basics

Basically the Turkish Spindle operate so much like another spindle except for one one small thing, when you’ve finished spinning, you have a center pull ball. When I’m at a show and I get asked how these work, this is the quick and dirty explanation I give people.

There are different Turkish spindles out there but they all operate similarly. The one I have is by Valkyrie

and you first assemble it by putting the smaller arm inside the bigger arm

and lining up the hole.
Then pop in the shaft. VOILA! Spindle!

An easy way to get it started is with a leader thread with a loop at each end.
One loop goes on the bottom of the shaft below the arms and then you can start wrapping….
the other loop will be your starting loop for the fiber.

This particular spindle doesn’t have a hook so you’ll need a half hitch to make it work. Right now, making a half hitch may seem awkward but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find your own way to make it quickly. I choose to wrap the yarn in my two fingers

flip ’em

insert the shaft

and there you go.

Yes, I know that sounded a little dirty. Spinning can be a filthy game sometimes.

The last thing you need to now is how to wrap your yarn around the bottom. It’s important because this will give you a centerpull ball when you do it right. There is a small trick to it. It’s over 2 and 1 or under 2 and over 1. It’s all 2 to 1 in wrapping and the link to the video is below so you can see exactly how it’s wrapped. I couldn’t get still pictures that were as good as the video so please look below for that.

To get your center pull ball off, you just reverse the action; pop out the shaft, remove the small arm, remove the big arm from the yarn. Part of having a leader makes it so that you can easily find the center end. If you like to make your own leaders, I recommend using a different color or something that will help you differentiate that end so you can find it easier.

Here’s the video:

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