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Spindle protectors

Their high center of gravity and easy-to-use hooks have earned top-whorl spindles a place in many spinners' hearts.

The heartbreak comes when the beloved spindle tumbles -- because the whorl can pull the spindle around to land smack-dab on its hook. A bent hook means a spindle that wobbles, and a very sad spinner.

Here's a quick-and-easy spindle protector you can make to fit any of your top-whorl spindles. It takes just a few minutes, and it can save you a lot of anguish.

To make your spindle protector, you will need five things:

     (1) the spindle to be protected
     (2) a piece of firm paper
     (3) clear sticky tape
     (4) a strong pin (like a "T" pin)
     (5) a medium-size safety pin

Step 1. Measure how far the top of the hook is from the surface of the whorl. Cut a strip of firm paper just a touch wider than that and about three inches long. Use the shaft of the spindle to roll this strip of paper into a tube. You want the tube to fit snugly on the spindle shaft.

Step 2. Seal the paper tube with a strip of clear sticky tape. You can use more than one strip of tape if you want -- it's important that the tube be held firmly in shape.

Step 3. Take the paper tube off the spindle shaft and slip it onto the hook on top of the spindle. Nudge its shape if needed to help it fit nicely.

Step 4. With a strong straight pin (like a "T" pin), pierce the paper tube all the way through. You want the pin to pass under the hook as it travels across the tube. (Be sure to click on the photo at left for a bigger view if that explanation doesn't make sense to you.)

Step 5. Remove the strong straight pin and slide a safety pin through the pierced holes in its place. Close the pin, and presto! Your spindle is protected!

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