When I made the decision to buy a Kick spindle I could find very little info on it, anywhere. Below is what I gathered, bought and my experience with mine. I could only find two being marketed, since I purchased mine I have found a third.
Below is my views on the Kick spindle I purchased (Little Meggie from Heavenly Handspinning), and some info on all of the other Kick Spindles that I could locate. Links and costs are included.
Things I like about my Kick Spindle.
1. Long spin time, I like the addition of the ball bearing.
2. Leaves both hands free to draft
3. It's my "wheel"
4. I like using my foot, I am moving around and don't get stiff from one position. It's a very "active" type, rhythmic motion.
5. You can actually stand and use it also.
6. Great price point.
7. I have never spun on a wheel and when I sat down at one the first time, I could actually spin (some) I think this action of foot/hand coordination helped.
8. I think I'm burning calories, so hey, I should be able to eat a cookie after (and probably during) spinning, right?
9. It unspins to wrap onto balls or niddy noddy, very easily.
10. My dogs think it is related to the vacuum cleaner (the arch enemy of all dogs). This could be a pro or con, depending on the animals in your house.
11. The Spindle hold quite a bit of yarn, I have 2 oz on here. see pic, and room for more.
11. It is portable.
12. It is great to ply with, it does it so well, that I might say I would buy it to use for this exclusively.
I think the best description is a cross between a drop spindle and a spinning wheel. My husband is an artist and has done pottery in the past, he sat down and was able to spin very easily, he had tried a drop spindle before without success.
1. Watch some of the videos of using a kick spindle on You Tube
2. I have never tried to use it with my hands, only setting with my feet. There is a video on You Tube of a women using it on the table. I talked to a women who uses it while watching TV and doing it by hand.
3. Hold to stabilize with toe of other foot. This balances you also. Both feet are at the same level.
4. It does take some practice to get the motion down. But I have only used hand spindles.
5. It helps me to put a rubber like mat under it to stabilize it.
6. I had trouble getting it "spin" fast enough until I read to add a little Vaseline to the ball bearing.
7. There is a learning curve like everything else, I like to keep the spindle spinning, some spin and stop it to draft and then wind.
Things that I don't like:
1. It does move around a bit, I feel like I have to anchor it with my other foot, and use a rubber mat.
2. It does feel a little "clunky", I'm not sure how else to describe this, I think using a hand spindle is spider like in motion, and feel light, so this be heavy and stable, feels very different. (not sure this is a con, just a different feel)
3. I thought that the hook on the end would be a plus, but I would like to try one without a hook, it does slow me up to have to stop and wind it.
I like my kick spindle, it is another option in your spinning arsenal, the one I have is great for the price. I like it well enough that I would like to try a more expensive one. And I would definitely purchase this one again.
It is not a replacement for a spindle or a wheel, but a compliment to them.
I understand now why people have multiple wheels.
If you own a Kick spindle I would enjoy any comments you have.
Heavenly Handspinning Kick Spindle
I bought a Mother Marion or Kick spindle a bit ago from Heavenly Handspinning. It was the right price, and at the time I could only find that one and the Woolrey had one.
Little Meggie" has been updated, with the addition of a radial ball bearing. The spindle base rests in the ball bearing, creating a longer spin.
I tried to find some history on this spindle, but the only info I could find was it is recently developed.
There are several You Tube videos of this one, including how to assemble it.
This company also makes a couple of quirky spinning wheels that includes a bicycle wheel.
Below is from the maker:
This spindle/wheel is also called Mother Marion's Magnificent Spinning Machine. This type of wheel was developed in 1981 and named after the inventor's mother-in-law. Heavenly Handspinning has updated this wonderful device, which works similarly to a drop spindle, but will allow you to sit or stand while spinning, freeing both hands for working with the roving.
The wheel is turned with your foot or hand (depending on whether it's placed on the floor or a table) and spinning occurs off the tip and hook. The length and stationary aspect of this wheel make it an excellent choice for plying.
The combination of light-weight, portability and ease of use, make this wheel/spindle - perfect to take anywhere.
"Little Meggie" has been updated, with the addition of a radial ball bearing. The spindle base rests in the ball bearing, creating a longer spin.
The wheel is handmade by Heavenly Handspinning. The wheel's base is made of oak. The rest of the assembly is made of oak and hardwood. The base is 8 inches in length and the total height from hook tip to base bottom is approximately 13 inches. The wheel measures 4 inches in diameter.
The Woolery Kick Spindle
I found a few to choose from online, The Woolery has one.
I believe this one does not have a hook at the end of the spindle, working more like a walking wheel spindle.
You tube has a video of someone using this kick spindle on the table with her hands, and it appears to turn very smoothly. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=GFPA3BcCMyo
$98.00 us price (midrange price)
Below from the Woolery:
Also called Mother Marion's Magnificent Spinning Machine, this handy spindle works much like a drop spindle but allows you to sit down while spinning. Just turn the large whorl with your foot (or place it on a table and use your hand) and spin off the tip of the spindle.
Beautifully crafted of cherry or walnut and hand-finished with several coats of Danish oil and a final coat of Crystalwax finishing wax for a nice sheen. Each spindle has been spun-tested by the manufacturer and comes with instructions and a starter spun yarn. Base is 5" x 12", height from base to top of spindle is 15" and diameter of kick wheel is 5 3/4". A wonderful portable tool and a sure conversation piece.
I only found this one recently, looks beautiful, folds flat, the spindle has no hook, and from the photo appears to have a ball bearing at the base of the spindle.
I contacted the maker for the price and info.
Price $500.00 (pricey, but as we spindlers know, usually cheap spindles do not perform as well as more expensive ones)
If you are familiar with the Golding drop spindles this may be the kick spindle version of it.
He also makes drop spindles, and has me drooling over this kick spindle.
If anyone out there has one of these are knows someone that does, I would love to hear from them.
I emailed Jim Echter and he gave me the below info.
kick spindle is a cross between a traditional spindle (great wheel) and a drop spindle. Think of a potter's wheel for spinners.
It is put on the floor while the spinner sits in a chair. You draft the fiber at a 45 degree angle off the tip of the spindle just like you do on a traditional spindle wheel. With our design, you can achieve a high spin rate because you drag the side of your foot across the bottom of the spindle below the flywheel and we use two high precision bearings. Most folks find it best to wear a sneaker or other soft shoe. Due to the diameter of the bottom of the spindle shaft, you get a great spin rate. On other types of kick spindles, you need to kick the flywheel so it is difficult to achieve as high a spin rate. The spinner I worked with during the design process (who is a kick spindle expert), can get such a long draw of our spindle that she actually has to stop it as her arms aren't long enough to finish her draw!
Our kick spindle has a carrying handle built in as part of the base that can also be used to hang the spindle on the wall. You can also easily remove the shaft and flywheel and fold the support arm down for storage.
The kick spindle is about 23" long x 8" wide x 15" high. The spindle shaft above the whorl is approximately 8" long. The whorl is 3 to 3.5" in diameter, although since I custom build each kick spindle, I can make it just about any diameter you desire and out of any kind of exotic wood. I have all sorts of interesting whorl woods as I also make high end drop spindles. The spindle will hold a fair amount of yarn depending on how thick you spin it.
Our web site has more information about the spindle and how my personal spindle is currently traveling the country on display with a major woodturning exposition called "Turned for Use II". You can check it out at:
www.truecreations.biz. I just finished making a video on our products, including the Kick Spindle. I hope to have it added to our web site within a few days.
email@example.com for more info.
May your spindles fly as fast as dragonflies!!