Flash Your Stash: Spindles!

How do you store all of your spindles and tools? Jeannine Glaves found a system that allows her to keep all of her spindles and tools in one handy place.

Jeannine Glaves Aug 3, 2020 - 5 min read

Flash Your Stash: Spindles! Primary Image

I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know when it happened. One day I woke up and found I was . . . a spindleholic!

There, I said it. I own it. I could no longer deny it. I get a rush every time I come across a spindle that says, “Hi, I’m special. You must take me home or live with regret the rest of your life.” Not wanting to live with regret, I buy it. (Who can pass up a talking spindle?) I lovingly and with great care pack it in my suitcase for the trip home.

I knew I had lost control when I came home with sixteen spindles from one trip.

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My spindles hang from the smaller cross wires. If a spindle hook is too small to go over the cube wire, I use a fancy Christmas ornament hook on the cube wire and hang the spindle from the ornament hook. If the spindle has no hook, I bend an ornament hook’s soft wire gently to hold the spindle shaft, being careful not to damage it. I lay bead-whorl and Russian spindles on the bottom of the cube below the hanging spindles, letting beads rest in the open squares.

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Cloth cube inserts can hold miscellaneous tools and supplies—mine have class spindle parts, extra class dizzes, and tools—keeping the clutter out of sight but handy.

This has been going on for over forty years, and I have tried many different ways to store my spindles while being able to enjoy looking at them and having easy access to my collection. I do not want bent shafts or dings or dents on my beautiful tools. The more spindles I owned, the harder it was to solve the storage/space problem.

I have seen a few spindles with bent shafts that had been stored in a jar-type vessel. The shafts rested at an angle on the lip of the vessel, with the weight of the whorl adding to the stress. Humidity in our area can also add to warping. Only a few shafts may warp, but I don’t want to take the chance with my beautiful wooden tools.

Wire cubes that snap together at the corners were the answer. You can build them to fit your space using as few or as many as you need. You can build one stack as high as you need or place multiple stacks side by side. As I put mine together, I used twist ties midway on each side to further join and stabilize the cubes.

If you are not into dusting, you can make a cover for your unit. I used a cover for a short time but found I really do enjoy looking at my spindles. I also enjoy handling and choosing a new favorite spindle when I dust them.

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Long Navajo-type spindles (and some distaffs) can be inserted in a wire square with the shaft and then down through the corresponding square of multilevel cubes. The whorl rests on the smaller cross wires and bears the spindle weight.

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I have some special spindles carefully packed in mailing tubes and fancy wine bottle boxes in a basket next to my cubes.

I find this system allows me to keep all my spindles and the tools I use with them in one handy place.

Jeannine Glaves would love to live in a tiny house. She has way too many tools, supplies, and books, and would need to add a big studio with lofts. (Maybe not a bad solution!)

This article was published in the Fall 2016 issue of Spin Off.

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