Low Whorl Spindles

In the U.S., back in the day ( read: mid-1990’s ) low whorl spindles were pretty much all most spinners knew. drop spindling was something one did just as a short-term, preliminary step on the way to learning to spin for real …ie. on a wheel. Then, circa 1997, an interest in top whorl spinning began to grow, quickly surpassing low whorling in popularity and driving an overall rise in interest in spindle spinning overall. The High Whorl spindle reigned supreme for more than a decade.

Well, they say, “What goes around comes around.” So, as should have been expected, low whorling is experiencing a resurgence. We will not argue that a low whorl spindle would out-produce a high. But, there is just something more relaxing about spinning with a spindle whose whorl is resting securely at the lower end of its shaft. And, plying on a bottom whorl spindle just seems to make more sense.

12″ Low Whorl & 14″ Low Whorl


The 12″ Low Whorl and 14″ Low Whorl spindles have shafts that are fashioned from 3/8″ commercial dowel stock — straight-grained American hardwoods; usually Maple, Oak, Cherry or Hickory.
Dowel-shaft Low Whorls: Production, Stubby & Fancy

The shaft top, the all-important working end of the tool comes in four flavors:

  • the proprietary Hatchtown Slotted Centerdraft Hook™
  • the LW classic Knob Top
  • a smooth Tapered point
  • a Brass Hook (same as on a HW spindle)

Whorls are sometimes fashioned from a blank of a single hardwood but are usually laminated layers of exotic and native hardwood species.

A bit of Hatchtown History: The 12″ Low Whorl Spindle was the first spindle model we produced — way back just after moving to Maine. We called it “The Production” based on our belief that the slotted hook, by centering the yarn exiting the spindle, would smooth the spindle’s spin and increase the handspinner’s output. In those early days, at Hatchtown Farm, any spindle other than one with the Slotted Centerdraft Hook was a “special order”.

I tried to make a fancier version of that first 12″ spindle — we called it “The Fancy”. It usually had a longer shaft and more turnings/details than the plainer “The Production” model. The trouble was that I kept making the “Productions” fancier ….and was always running out of ways to make the “Fancies” any fancier. Before too long the only difference between “The Production” and “The Fancy” models was that the shaft of one was 2″ longer than the other.

Customers have long been confused: why did we call our 12″ low whorl spindle “The Production” while the 12″ high whorl spindle was simply and sensibly referred to as the 12″ High Whorl? — imagine!. It was not until early 2013 that I finally relented, listening to the word of reason (a/k/a: Pam), and the “Production” and “Fancy” names were removed from the lineup.


color photo: closeup of the Hatchtown Slotted Centerdraft Hook

Up Close: the Hatchtown Slotted Centerdraft Hook™

12″ Low Whorl Spindle


* Length: 11 1/2 “+/- (29.5 cm)
* Whorl Diam.: 2 1/2″ – 3.25″ ( 6.3 – 8.3 cm )
* Weight: 1.25 – 3.25 oz. ( 35.5 – 92 grams )
* Shaft Top: Slotted Centerdraft Hook, Knob Top, Tapered or Brass Hook
* $48.00

graphic drawing: Low Whorl Shaft Tops

Shaft Tops rom L to R: Slotted Centerdraft Hook, Knob Top, Tapered Point and Brass Hook

color photo: closeup of Hatchtown llaminated whorl - Padauk and Zebrawood

14″ Low Whorl Spindle


* Length: 13 1/2 “+/- (34.5 cm)
* Whorl Diam.: 2 1/2″ – 3.25″ ( 6.3 – 8.3 cm )
* Weight: 1.25 – 3.25 oz. ( 35.5 – 92 grams )
* Shaft Top: Slotted Centerdraft Hook, Knob Top, Tapered or Brass Hook
* $52.00

The Spinimal

    — the most minimal spindle — fits in your purse or the seat pouch of your mountain bike

aSPMLs_2

Spinimal™

* Length: 5.5″+/- (15.8 cm)

* Whorl Diam.: 2 1/8″+/- ( 5.4 cm)
* Weight: .5 – .9 oz. (14 – 21.5 grams)
* Shaft Top: Hook, Knob or Smooth Taper
* $42.00
Three Flavors of Spinimals (SPMLs)