Here’s some spinning inspiration for you today from Judy Kavanagh, a spinner from Ottawa, Ontario, who made a spinning charkha made of Legos. You’ve got to check out this video of her spinning cotton on a charkha she designed and built, complete with Lego gears and spinning figures!
Check out Judy Kavanagh spinning cotton on a Lego charkha!
The charkha is one of the oldest-known forms of the spinning wheel. The drive wheel is turned by hand, and yarn spun onto the tip of the spindle. It’s ideal for spinning cotton and other fine fibers with short staples. As you can see, the charkha can be quite compact.
The charkha is a symbol of the Indian independence movement, because of how important it was (and still is) to daily life. Mahatma Gandhi used it as a symbol of self-sufficiency and independence, his dream for India. The charkha has even appeared in past versions of the Flag of India. Learn more about the historical importance of spinning on an Indian box charkha and one woman’s mission to bring the craft of spinning back to a more central role in India here.
Want to learn to spin on a charkha? Check out Kate Larson’s newest course How to Spin on a Charkha.
Originally published October 24, 2017; updated September 9, 2022.