A Surprising Source for Renewable Fiber Tools

Want to make your spinning greener? See Linda Ligon’s tips for spindles, shuttles, and other tools that are good for the environment (and could, technically, make yarn).

Anne Merrow Apr 1, 2022 - 2 min read

A Surprising Source for Renewable Fiber Tools Primary Image

A selection of veggies ripe for the picking to aid in your fiber craft. Photo by Robert Jones via Pixabay

You may have heard that once upon a time, spinning tools were very simple: a hooked stick, a rock. Even today, spinners use simple bead-whorl spindles to make vast quantities of yarn.

But what if woodworking isn’t your thing? Or what if you want to take eco-friendly spinning to the next level? Organic gardener, spinner, and innovator Linda Ligon asked those very questions. Looking over nature’s bounty, she uses a paring knife, some skewers, and a bumper crop of ingenuity to transform her favorite vegetables into renewable, biodegradable fiber tools.

First, you’ll learn how to make a Turkish spindle with just two zucchini and some green-thumb ingenuity.

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Then, take your garden-inspired spinning to the next level. Watch part 2 to learn how to make a drop spindle, niddy noddy, and boat shuttle from a zucchini, and other tools using carrots and radishes. It’s a bushel of fun!

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Produce spindles aren’t just green—they’re also inexpensive and versatile! Pick this week for a lightweight spindle, or wait till next week for a more robust one. When you’re done with your project, you can put the spindle right on the grill, shaft and all.

Just be careful where you put your spinning down, or your new handmade tool might be stolen and eaten by a rabbit.

Linda Ligon and Anne Merrow are cofounders of Long Thread Media.