It’s a Rover, it’s a rocket, it’s a spindle?

Spindle spinning is way fun. It’s so addictive. There are even Yahoo groups for people who prefer spindles to wheels. On one of these lists, one poster described making Tinkertoys into a spindle and spinning with it. I don’t recollect her results, but I happened to mention the comment to Geeklet. He in turn suggested I make one out of Legos. I thought that this would be fabulous, and we hunkered down–me to my spindle, and he to his model-of-a-model Sojourner. I gave it some thought, and decided that a central spindle with turkish-style spokes would be just the thing. I “rim-weighted” the ends of the spokes with additional Legos. I was afraid I’d have to use a column of squares for the spindle (which may have worked), but it turns out Geeklet had cylindrical pieces that he uses as a rocket on a regular basis. There weren’t many–the spindle was a bit short–but they did the trick.

I tend to prefer top-whorl versus bottom-whorl spindles. Still, I had difficulty using the few cylindrical pieces to good effect making a top-whorl, so bottom-whorl it was.
The Lego spindle

It’s kind of pretty, no? (By the way, Geeklet once painted a rocket–it may have been one of the new Ares rockets–pink, so if pieces of my spindle look like they have been dipped in calamine lotion, that’s why.) It was easy enough to attach the fiber–I merely took off the very top Lego, laid a thin strand of wool between the two rows of dots, and stuck the Lego back on top. It held lovely, no starter string or anything. For wool I grabbed a handful of the darker wool from Otis‘s fleece (the fleece I’ve been processing off and on for a few weeks now). The darker wool is short-staple, fluffy, and verra verra soft. Geeklet loved this–I was spinning wool from a sheep he knows on a spindle made of Legos. Joy.

Then I started to spin. Surprisingly, the little sucker has some decent spin time on it. Better than my few other spindles, including my CD spindle, which I use quite often despite its heinous appearance. I was curious to see what would happen should I weigh the ends even more, but I did not try it (as I should have been making dinner anyway). Boy Geeklet was fascinated.

Geeklet loves the Lego spindle

He wanted to spin it, and spent many minutes practicing the Patented Snapping Fingers Spin that most spinners know so well as I spin the fiber up top. So reluctant was he to stop spinning it that I was standing on the sofa in order to use up the twist as he continued to spin the spindle before I could get him to remove his hands from the little rocket-spindle’s vicinity.

Ooo, colors!

Look at the pretty colors. Ahhhh. (You could have fun designing the bars so they end up with the rainbow/striping effect of your choice.) So we ended up with a small cop of singles, which I then plied (Boy loved this, because he got to practice spinning it in the other direction).

A full cop of plied wool

Okay, so a “cop full” isn’t all that much. But I could have kept on, if I only had a longer spindle and no dinner to make. It was so much fun to spin on! When I plied, I just popped the spindle “shaft” away from the rest of the spindle and held it loosely in my hand as I wrapped it around the other hand to Andean ply. It was about the size of a large spool of thread. I found myself with a glass wrapped in a couple of yards of wool, steaming it over simmering curry and wondering what to knit. What is worthy of a project like this? Hmm. I do think that when Geeklet gets his next spinning lesson, I may encourage him to make his spindle first.

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2 thoughts on “It’s a Rover, it’s a rocket, it’s a spindle?

  1. My son and I were the ones who made the tinkertoy spindle. We are both thrilled that it got you guys playing around too. His tinker spindle spins pretty good to. I took him to a spin in last month and he got a new spindle so the tinkers are headed back to making rockets and towers as soon as we get his single off.

    Too cool.

    Jen and Orrin

  2. That is really asmart idea. it looks like it spins real fast. You should try adding something to make it electrical so it could spin by itself. Maybe you should make a bunch up and sell them.

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