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Doing the Math: 2 x One of Two-of-a-Kind

I thought fiber folks might be interested in seeing pictures of a couple of rare “One of Two-of-a-Kind” Hatchtown tools:

  • a square-shafted low whorl spindle and
  • nøstepinde-sort-of-thingy that is both a Wraps Per Inch gauge AND a 6″ ruler.

The spindle and the thingy date back to the mid-90’s. In both cases I had been commissioned by a customer to turn something unique — a special order. I have trouble remembering what it was like to have spare time enough to consider accepting special orders! LOL

Explanation: “One of Two-of-a-Kind”
— Any time I’m making ONE of something my instinct is to make a SECOND to keep as a physical record of my efforts. Having two widgets “in process” also protects me in the event my gouge slips spoiling the work on the lathe. Furthermore, even though I always tried to exactly follow the customer’s design constraints and guidelines, my having two “versions” left it to the customer to decide which was closest to their mental image. You know, the customer is always right!

A Square-Shafted Low Whorl

color photo: full view square-shafted Walnut low whorl handspindle

Length: 13 3/8" -- Whorl Diam: 3 1/4" -- Weight: 1.35 oz

As I remember it, the thinking was that the square shaft top would provide maximum grip ensuring a strong twist initiating super fast spindle spin. The customer, a gentleman handspinner, preferred half-hitching and was not concerned that the generously sized shaft top would set the yarn too far off of center generating wobble.


color photo: underside of spindle's whorl

color photo: close-up of shaft's square working end

Square working end

Nøsty-Thingy — Six Inch Ruler AND a Wraps per Inch Gauge

As remember it, the customer in this instance was a knitter who wanted an elegant ruler to measure the width of the folded up section of the watch caps she was knitting. She had come up with the idea that the tool might look like a Nøstepinde. That a couple of the ruler’s sections could measure wraps per inch was my contribution.

a 2" gap for measuring bulky yarn's "Wraps Per Inch"

11 comments to Doing the Math: 2 x One of Two-of-a-Kind

  • julie hopper

    Are your Low whorl spindles for sale.
    Kind Regards

  • Jim

    Hey Julie: We’ll usually have some low whorl spindles for sale along with the lately more popular “highs,” Right now we’re in recovery mode following SOAR and NYSW Rhinebeck and do not have any available inventory …high, low or in between! 🙁

  • Jim

    Hi Donna: “Love the square shaft!” as in “Wow, that is an off-the-wall idea!” or “Neat, I could really use one of those!“??

    I could incorporate square sections on the shafts of low AND high whorl spindles. Do you think the idea is worth experimenting with?

  • Barbara

    Well, DOH… Of course! So they wouldn’t be the same as the two-of-a-kind and won’t upset the balance of the cosmos! Make mine top whorl and less than one ounce, but with a fairly long shaft.

  • caryl

    I love the idea of a nostie/WPI combo. It would mean 1 tool instead of 2 in my spinning tool kit. I’d love to see more variations on this theme. I’m not so sure about the square shaft – I’d have to ‘touch and feel’ – I sometimes slide the cop off and onto a drinking straw for storage while I spin up the next ‘batch.’ But the square shaft would keep it from rolling when you put it down….


  • Jim

    Hey Caryl – I’m with you on the combo-thing idea and I have a few ideas. One of the monstrously huge MickyD straws might actually slide over that square shaft end.

  • Robin

    I just found out about nostepindle’s and I have been knitting since I was a young girl. Now at 58 I could really use sonething to make center wind balls of yarn (other than my hand or the plastic ball winder that I can never get to work right. I love the feel of wood and do some woodworking myself. I have no lathes it’s more on the ine of home up grqades and refinishing. But the new knitting needles that are made of wood just feel so warm in my hands.
    So Jim, are there any avaliable? If so I really would like to order one.

  • Jim Child

    We’re working non-stop on finally launching a “shop”. And, the good news is that there will be a baker’s dozen of shiny new Nøstepindes in the shop when it first opens.

  • Robin

    YEAH!!!! I can’t wait. Can I buy one, pre-pay!! I have been hand winding my yarn for center pull for as long as I can remember, I just
    found out about Nostepindes last year when I first contacted you and to
    have a ruler and wraps per inch too is just Awesome. I’m one of those
    that never follows a pattern exactly especially the yarn I use so that will be a very handy tool for me!!!!

  • Robin

    I just thought I would check in and see how the shop is coming along.
    How the wood working is going? I would still like to order a Nostepinde
    when they are avaliable. Please let me know.
    thank you so very much