Friday, 22 May 2009

Chopsticks, chopsticks!

I am inundated in chopsticks, and that is a Good Thing - because these cheap, all-alike, slim and slightly conical things will serve as the spindle sticks for the Spinning Experiment.

I have thought long and hard about what I could take for the experiment. One of the first ideas was to have twenty spindles and four different whorls each, and rotate the whorls during the spinning process. But then there is another variation in the process, one we can't measure or calculate: The order of spinning with different spindles in the test. What if it makes a difference whether someone starts the experiment spinning with spindle A and then B as opposed to spinning with spindle C and then A? And so on? So I arrived at the conclusion that the safest bet would be to give everybody the same spindle at the same time.

Which means making one hundred twenty spindle whorls (plus a few to spare in case of unforeseen desasters). And ideally, attaching all those whorls to a spindle stick so that they can't slip when you drop the spindle (something I do fairly often with an unknown, new and maybe awkwardly running spindle). Which means - as one possible solution - to glue a stick to each whorl. Which in turn means making one hundred twenty spindles glued together... with identical whorls and identical spindle sticks. There. Since our budget is not so big (read: nonexistent), cheap was not an option but a requirement. And slim, identical, slightly conical-at-the-top, round sticks for little money? You got it. Chopsticks.

That is why I am sitting here with a box, newly arrived, containing one hundred pairs of Taiwanese bamboo chopsticks. Next time, when we have won the lottery got a budget for a similar experiment, we might use proper sticks for another spinning experiment. For now, bamboo will do.


Kruliczyca said...

That's funny! The first spindle I made few months ago for myself was form IKEA's bamboo chopstick.
It requires quite heavy whorl, but it works properly ^__^

a stitch in time said...

I'd guess that chopsticks are pretty often the "first spindle" victims. They are cheap, available and more or less conical - all very good things for a spindle stick.
Did you make the whorl yourself?

Kruliczyca said...

Yes, I did it form piece of brick found somwhere. I used sandpaper to get a shape. After few hours of working with this spindle I realised, that I need to do another one, because hole in the whorl had too large hole =__="
I didnt yet.

a stitch in time said...

Oh wow, that sounds like a lot of work. You could just wrap something around the spindle so that the hole fits better, that might save you the work of doing it again...

Kruliczyca said...

Not really. To make a hole in small piece of brick (about 4 cm diameter) I used a screwdriver with crossshaped end. All process (sandpapering and making hole) took about half of hour, so it is not such a big deal.
But to solve the problem with too big hole I will simply use another stick to create fitting combination of whorl and spindle ^__^
Now, I don't have an idea what could be wraped around and would not move during spinning. I think I would have to use heatened wax to stick together all pieces and f. ex. piece of fabric.
It seems the same amount of work as making new spindle.
And I prefer the second thing.