Maker:The Clay Sheep
Weight: 43 g / 1.56 oz
Length: 2 1/2" Whorl, 10 1/2" Shaft
Style: Top Whorl
Wood: Polymer Clay Whorl set atop a Red Oak Base and Shaft
Anita from The Clay Sheep has been well known for her amazing polymer clay stitch markers, diz's and orifice hooks. She puts wonderful detail into each item she makes. A few months ago I saw on her Facebook page that she had made a couple spindle prototypes and knew that once they became available I had to give them a try. My spun skein is a rolag from Naturally Knitty.
Currently, these spindles come in 3 sizes; small, medium and large (1 oz, 1.5 oz, 2 oz). I decided on the medium spindle, mostly because its the middle ground and I tend to gravitate towards sport - worsted weight yarns. I also instantly fell in love with the design of the whorl - who wouldn't? The detail is evident right down to the little feet and the curls in the sheep's wool. I also like that because each of these polymer clay whorls are handmade they are also truly one of a kind. If you look at the other spindles with this design, no two are a like. There are different flower colours and different sheep combinations. I also quite like the sky and the colours she used are so vibrant.
The frame around the picture is sterling silver filled wire, and this distributes the weight to the outer rim of the spindle. She has added 2 notches; at 12:00 and 6:00 and they are of a decent depth. The hook is made of Argentium Silver hard tempered wire and it suits the personality of the spindle very well. Its not too thick, or too thin and it lined up my spun yarn exactly in-line with the shaft. The neck is long enough that I can wrap some of the singles around the hook without anything getting in the way. I also found that it is closed enough that when things got a little out of control (on my part not paying attention to the fact that my arms aren't long enough when the spindle reaches the floor) the hook held the yarn securely as I fumbled to grab the flying spindle. This also goes to show the spin time. I am able to spin quite a length of yarn before the spin even slows down. (This is the 3rd place for the longest spinning spindle I have reviewed so far) All in all, with the combination of all the thought and detail that went into the top portion of this spindle, it is VERY well balanced. While spinning, it danced smoothly and effortlessly.
And that's just the top side of the whorl! Underneath, she has engraved the spindle's weight and its number. Mine is already #30. She has also etched her initials. Yet, more detail she hasn't overlooked. I think it's really cool to have numbered spindles, they are works of art. I'm also glad she burnt this information into the wood and didn't use a sharpie.
If you are looking for a really unique, really well handcrafted spindle, then check out what Anita from The Clay Sheep has to offer. Fully functional works of art, and not a single detail overlooked. I can see this spindle becoming one of my favourite, go-to spindles. I am searching through my stash to start a new spinning project on it ASAP. I am SO happy that this spindle is in my collection, I think I may need the other 2 sizes as well :)