Last night a good friend of mine gifted me with a Babe Liten which is a pvc wheel based off a traditional spindle wheel/charhka design. It has a point on it made from a knitting needle and you can spin on it just like you would using a supported spindle. After trying out several fibers I decided that this was a special enough experience to warrant dipping into my hoard of golden Tussah silk. It’s my understanding that this design is thought to have originated in India and that Tussah silk hails from there as well. I’m shocked still at the quality of the spin on this little pvc wheel. It’s absolutely excellent. I have pulled a half oz of silk off the roving to spin lace weight with and am having a blast. It’s slower then the Lendrum but faster then hand supported spindles. The best part is that the old injury in my right shoulder is not bothered by this wheel since my right arm doesn’t cross over my body at any point like it does with the Lendrum.
I’ve been researching a bit about this type of wheel and have a feeling that a more in-depth project is about to get started. I’d like to learn about the progression of this design from India up the Silk Road and find out where the design took and where it didn’t take or fell from use and why.