UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

December 31, 2009

Dragon spindle pictures

Filed under: equipment, spin — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:25 pm

Spindle pictures:

From spindle
From spindle

I am extremely pleased with my spindle. This is the Woolly Designs Hollow Whorl “Dragon” spindle hand carved by Tracy Eichheim. I paid $70.65 including shipping. The ordering process is awkward. Check or money order only. One must email a stranger and ask for permission to order. It was extremely uncomfortable for me to initiate contact when the website said they were closed but would be open “in fall”.

There is no fixed price list where one can differentiate the difference in features or price between hollow whorl and rim styles. There are prices for some/most of the motifs, but I made my selection partially based on visible prices. (I am an ardent believer in “If you have to ask, you cannot afford it.”) The Dragon is one of the most expensive motifs. Eichheim has bargain spindles that are under $30 (“Hearts” and “Comets”) and shipping is flat for up to 5 spindles. (I should have ordered one of those as well. More is often better.)

Mr. Tracy Eichheim was personable and friendly enough to chat with me via email; he responded to some of my asides that I include everywhere. I often think that I prefer things where one can just order by clicking and inserting a credit card number, but I know I got the best suited spindle because I was encouraged to ask questions. The people who are sour and bitter and resentful of the time it takes to answer your questions but who do not have automated ordering are much worse than this was.

It was very stressful to send someone a check to reserve a place in the work queue. I guess I am paranoid, but I asked myself what happens to the money if something happened to the craftsman. I need not have worried. My spindle showed up exactly when it had been predicted to arrive. (Both the estimate at ordering and the shipping estimate with tracking number.)

I really do like my spindle. I am very glad I ordered it. I would have been happier if I could have clicked a button to order it instead of feeling like I was begging for a chance to buy one and there was such a shortage that other people would cry without one. When Tracy told me there were a bunch of orders already waiting but he might be able to fit me in before the end of the year, I really felt like I was getting the last dolly in the toy store window while a dozen orphan girls looked on with sad faces pressed against the glass. I had to be talked into sending the check because I do not like when my unique purchase comes pre-wrapped in guilt. Finally my husband said, “All those other people are too slow. They can buy spindles from that lame place [Ashford].”

The dragon carving is beautiful. I took a number of pictures just to show that off. The hook at the top is slightly bent toward the notch so the yarn goes perfectly straight up. The hook is so securely mounted that I would suspect welding had I not asked. (Eichheim described the various glues he uses when I asked. I did get a lot out of the pre-ordering discussion as much as I wished it could have been omitted.) There are a lot of really excellent details in this spindle’s construction. I think it is under-valued and should cost more than it does. Though if I had spent $135 on this, I would have expected low VOC varnish (less reeky) and non-styrofoam packing peanuts and credit card processing.

There are people who name their spinning wheels. I have not named mine. My Fricke wheel has always been a tool and I would not name it any more than I would name my breakfast fork. My spindle, however, wanted a name. If you want to guess, I would be entertained.


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