“It’s Just for a Kid, it’s good enough”…..WRONG!!

A little while ago, at a fibre event, a lady was looking for a spindle. She wanted a drop spindle for her child, aged around 8, who wanted to learn to spin. She was talking to some experienced spinners, asking for advise on which spindle to buy. And one of the spinners said “It’s just for a kid. Stick one of those wooden wheels on a stick, or an old CD on a stick. That’s good enough.”
My hackles rose! It is not “just for a Kid”. It is for a Person. And a person deserves the best and most appropriate tools for the job at hand. This does not mean the most expensive, just the best you can get at a price you can afford.
Don’t get me wrong. Those little wooden spindles made from wooden wheels, or with stone whorls can be wonderful! That is, if they are made correctly. If the shaft length is correct for the weight, if the shaft is centred, and the whorl is balanced. If the maker knows what the heck they are doing, and tests it when it’s done!
But if none of those things are taken into consideration, and a stick is just shoved into any old thing…. yes, you can spin on it. But there won’t be a lot of pleasure in it, it’s going to wobble, and spin for about 5 seconds before it stops.
I’ve seen and heard this so often, and it annoys me terribly. “I tried to teach my child to knit. I gave him my old wooden needles … the ones with the splinters on the points. He gave up after 3 tries”. “I tried to teach my child to spin. She just was so picky, she didn’t want to use the CD spindle I made her, and anyway she was so clumsy, she couldn’t keep it spinning” .
If the tool isn’t good enough for an adult, it isn’t good enough for a child either.
You cannot make Chicken Soup for Chicken Poop, my friends!
(Want to see a stone bottom whorl drop spindle by someone who knows how to make them, and tests them? I own a number of these, and they spin true and forever… a friend in Saskatchewan makes them )

4 thoughts on ““It’s Just for a Kid, it’s good enough”…..WRONG!!

  1. SA

    correct tool indeed. . . .My husband strongly believes this requirement.

    As a young lad his parents gave him tools to support a passion in woodworking. Not being handy themselves they gifted him a ball peen hammer and a pruning saw.

    Thankfully he didn’t give up after 3 attempts – and I have been blessed with many handcrafted projects as he continues to explore his vast talent.

  2. Marianne

    I so agree with you! It’s hard enough to learn something let alone making it 10x harder with the wrong tool. I like to encourage, not discourage

  3. Mary Alyce

    My father, who was both a mechanic and a carpenter, taught me when I was a child, always use the best tools you can afford. He ran a hardware store, and when I went to work for him at age 11, I learned that it’s just as much work to paint with cheap paint as with good paint, so again, that same lesson: the best you can afford. When my daughter was 12, she wanted artist’s pencil crayons. They cost $150.00 on sale, and folks told me I was nuts to get them for her. She turned 28 yesterday, and she still has them. Let those who already know spinning have fun with the cd spindles.

  4. Vicki

    You are so right. I don’t understand this mindset that kids deserve junk. If you’re going to give someone a piece of crap, frankly, it’s better not to give them anything.

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