After wanting one of these for months, I finally decided to just order one already. So I did as a little birthday present for myself. Birthday present? and I’m just getting it now? Yes indeedy- because it made quite the journey from India.
I love getting mail from India. Usually it’s cards and letters from Mr. Pieknit’s family but it always has an interesting array of stamps, markings and whatnot. This package is certainly a prime example. I was so eager to open it after picking it up at the post office (which even the postal worker gave a little disbelieving laugh upon seeing it) but I felt it warranted its own photograph.
Wrapped in muslin cloth and hand stitched closed, the customs forms are even sewn to it.
Inside is my very own Tahkli spindle. These are lightweight support spindles from India that are good for spinning cotton and fine fibers. At a mere .5 oz. it’s ideal for producing very fine yarns. I ordered this one from eTrade Enterprises in India. It was only $10 and comes with this nice wooden box as well. The shipping is another $9 of course, but still a good deal (and for such charming packaging it’s worth it :) ). The company also offers several different types of Charkha’s as well. Which btw, the one I’m working on building has hit a bit of a snag in that I haven’t yet been able to find someone with a supported drill that can drill the drive wheel holes balanced. So in the meantime, I can now try out those cotton punis I have with this.
I love it. I might even say I like it a little more than wool. So many comments I’ve read remark how cotton is difficult to spin, which I think probably pertains to spinning on a traditional wheel. Ah the difference having the right tools makes. Yes, it requires a Lot of twist, but I think since it can hold so much twist it’s much easier to avoid over twisting, a problem that plagues my fledgling wool attempts.
With wool, I’ve been working to try to spin thinner and funnily enough with the cotton it’s the opposite. Tahkli’s are meant to spin fine threads, but a little messing with it and towards the end I was able to spin a little thicker, near lace weight. Looking at the photos now I should have probably included something for scale. I was surprised how dainty this thing really is, super portable. I’ve seen several types of support bowls for sale as well but happened to find this cute bamboo condiment dish for $2.99, thank you Target.
Very addictive, I’ve already spun a second puni up before I got this posted- so another gratuitous photo.
Link-o-Rama (Tons of related links in the extended entry)
Sites on how to spin on a Tahkli/Takli
Sources for Tahkli’s
eTrade Enterprises – where I purchased mine
Dragonfly Farms – some nice varieties
The Wheel Thing – beautiful unique handmade support spindles
They also have traditional Tahkli’s, ceramic bowls and a clever magnetic “bowl” you can use which can also be seen here
The Bellwether has a nice variety as well
yarnahoy.etsy.com – Where I got my puni’s, great prices!
Cotton Clouds – great cotton and puni selection including dyed
The Woolery – variety of cottons and a Learn to Spin Cotton Kit that includes a Tahkli
Mielke’s Fiber Arts – another great variety including punis