Apr 8, 2011

My new toy - a Bosworth Charkha

Back from my trip to Seattle - which was wonderful, because I got to spend time with my friends, and awful, because my son was sick for most of the trip.

However, I have a new toy!!

I have wanted a charkha ever since reading about Gandi and his spinning. It took me a long time to decide whether to buy a more authentic Indian charkha, or the luxury version made by Jonathan Bosworth in the States. Even though I feel a little guilty I decided to get the Bosworth charkha because of it's compactness and it's beautiful craftmanship. SinceI had to come up with quite a few dollars I decided that I would wait until I earned the money with selling my handspun fiber. So last fall I was ready to order, and now I have it!
It is just as beautifully made as I had hoped.
I tried the cotton that was supplied as a fiber sample and didn't like spinning it. Then I used some Merino, and loved it!
It does take some time to get used to the mechanisms of turning the drive wheel with you right hand (Iam righthanded) and feeding/drafting the fiber with your left. Well prepared fiber helps a lot!
I have to practice a lot more to get profficient but I was surprised of fast you can get the hang of it.
It will be the perfect traveling wheel for me! I will keep you updated of my progress.

Read the Wikipedia entry.

Off my wheel
I have finally finished spinning the singles of the crimson colored Merino/Silk blend from Corgi Hill Farms that I decided should be lace weight. I still need to ply, but the majority of the spinning is done. yeah!

On my wheel
Now I am spinning a wonderfully soft and shiny BFL/Silk blend, the February Club fiber by Squoosh Fiberarts in the colorway Samba. After all that thin lace weight spinning I decided to spin thicker singles, probably for a 2-ply DK or light worsted yarn.

On my spindle
Strangely, trying out my new charkha made me want to spindle again. So yesterday I spun up 1 spindle full of a mystery fiber, and am almost done with the 2nd.

I red a little more in Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont (on loan from Ballee), and found a tip that seems so logical that it makes me wonder why I haven't done it before. Instead of winding the yarn onto the spindle homogenously from top to bottom and back, it said to wind it on in a figure 8 style. Works great, is faster, and will probably be easier to wind of, too! Check out this book if you haven't yet - well worth a read!


  1. update on your Bosworth please? I am looking to buy one but they are expensive. thanks

  2. Hi, I sold it a while ago but ONLY because I don't spin silk much and the bobbins are to small to hold much wool. I still recommend this wonderful device but since I have a number of wheels I decided to keep only those that I regularly spin on. If you like wonderfully made tools and either like to spin silk, bamboo etc. Or like to spin thin samples I would buy one. For me it was worth every penny.

  3. Thanks, I'll have to reconsider. I wanted to try lace and use it for contests but it is a lot to spend if not using all the time. Your note is helpful.


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