Spindle Containers

Until Ebo, our kitten, entered our lives we’d not worried about pets gleefully chewing on a shaft, gnawing the arms or worrying the fiber. Ebo has the potential to be like some of our customers’ pets to whom spindles are an enticing potential snack.


Ebo is keenly fascinated by these things. He wants to snag them, bite them, run under the table and eat them.

Before Ebo came into our lives most of my spindles resided in containers for their well-being. Originally most of my spindles were in boring, non-descriptive plastic boxes. Over time the collection has become more interesting and fun.

I have a few small containers for tucking into a bag or purse when I head out the door.

A tea canister. Bone spindle with Santa Creek Creations yak/silk blend.
DSC01266A tiny container from Powell’s Bookstore. Perfect for a kuchulu. The shaft has been removed from the arms for a better fit. I almost always remove the shafts laying them alongside or under the arms. Fiber

A couple years ago I found a Coca-Cola lunchbox/tin at World Market – perfect for a Swan. It was painted with a 1950’s picture. People often commented on it when we’d be out and about with it. We were eating a hamburger when a young couple walked into the restaurant. They both eyed it longingly. As we got up to leave the man asked where we’d bought it: they were decorating their first kitchen in a 50’s retro. I walked out to the car, dumped the Swan and fiber into a bag then went back in and handed it to them. The look on both of their faces was priceless.

For Christmas a year ago Ed hunted down a couple more Coca-Cola themed tins for me.

Lark with cotton. There are times when I wind on very messily. It gets the job done.


Several kuchulus are employed spinning this blue wool/bamboo blend. The Finders Keepers tin above is the one that rides around in my backpack or purse. The bigger lunchbox below has more recently become the storage unit for the extras. It’s been a work in process for more years than seems possible. I only spin it when I’m on the go, never at home or walking. Maybe it should become my next walking project so it will finally get all spun. Not shown are two more full weaving bobbins. (Where are they?)

When a kuchulu is filled to the toes I usually join the finished turtle to the loose end on a bobbin and spin the two singles together before winding from the turtle onto the bobbin. As a result I should end up with four bobbins each containing high-yardage single. I haven’t yet decided between plying or leaving them as singles for weaving.

The sturdy interior cardboard makes this bag safe enough for toting around. It’s holding an ancient spindle we bought from a person in Turkey. It’s worn from decades of use, is quite clunky and wobbly but we love the authenticity of it. The fiber is cotton.


My friend, Marianne Cant of Picperfic made this next one for me. She named her spindle carrier design wigwams for their shape. Inside is an Egret.




A glimpse of some of my containers that have spindles and fibers in varying stages of spinning. One of my goals in the next few months is to finish spinning all of these that are pictured here. It’s time!

DSC01260Have fun collecting containers to keep your spindles safe from harm!


  1. Hi and Happy 2016 Wanda! Thanks for sharing your ideas. I love to nest my Jenkins spindles safely in cute little containers too. I have a square metal tea can, a hexagonal lidded paper box, and a rectangular lidded paper box with a magnetic lid. Looking for one more for my Egret. 😊

    1. You have some interesting spindle containers!

  2. Honestly, I like looking at my spindles. They are pieces of functional art. I have a shelf and I leave them out so that I can see them as I would a painting. Of course, they are high up enough not to be a temptation for the resident corgis….

    1. Aw, we love hearing that people think of them as functional art.
      Corgis know enough not to try to climb high shelves. 🙂 Ebo hasn’t mastered jumping but he’s working on that skill. We’re working on training him on his boundaries.

      1. Good luck with the training. We also “trained” our cat to not jump on the kitchen counter. And he didn’t – as long as we were in the room. However, if we were walking down the hall towards the kitchen, there would be a distinct ‘thump’ right before we entered the room as a 15 pound cat hit the floor. And there he would be, looking up at us with the most innocent look…. I’ll give him credit, though, he timed it perfectly – we never actually caught him on the counter, and he probably figured we were none the wiser!!

        1. Haha. Some cats are too smart to be human trained!

  3. What an fun and interesting blog post! Thank you!

    I am curious about how you join your singles. Is it as easy as it sounds? Could you describe it in a bit more detail? I usually spit splice the two ends together, but I would like to try this as well.

    1. One of these days I’ll post a video showing how to join two turtles. Easier shown than told. 🙂

      1. That would be fantastic! Whenever you have a moment. 🙂

  4. Ah Wanda I LoVe this post! So Wonderful to see all the various tins and I adore that wigwam too! Finally got a display shelf for all my spindles, safely above any pet interference (or so they are letting me think 😉 Now you have me wondering if I could find more clear plastic boxes with handles (usually found in cosmetics) Presently my fave travel bag is a Tatami Small bag, easy to grab and go.
    I Love posts like this – And seeing all your lovely spindling. Yes Please make a video of how you spin onto the back bobbins – what a Great Idea! Happy New Year to you and Ed and Family! <3

  5. Dear Mrs. Wanda,
    I love this post so very much.
    That you made someone’s day, gifting the admired coke canister, speaks so wonderfully
    to my heart tonite.
    I hope I get lucky tonite with one of Mr. Ed’s Walnuts to accompany my beautiful holly
    ps . how are those weaving hooks going? 😛

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