When I decided that I would go to Burning Man this year, I began casting around for things I might do to stay grounded in the swirl of heat and noise and crowds of naked dancing people. Spinning has always been a good meditative activity, but I didn't want to take my big wheel. A little charkha wheel, developed by Gandhi and used as part of the Indian independence movement would be perfect.
About a month ago I ordered a book charkha from eTrade in India. Yesterday, Canada Post was just pulling up to my door with the package as I arrived home early from the studio. Good timing!
The packaging was so wonderful - the cloth outer wrapping was actually sewn shut by hand!
The booklet that comes with the charkha describes this in glowing terms as a "protective corrugated storage sleeve". Ummm, in North America we would just call this a box and throw it directly into recycling.
I love the little metal name plate.
The charkha is the size of a hardcover book. It smells like fresh varnish.
Opened out with all the goodies inside. There are three spindles, the wheel itself, and a skein winder ingeniously included.
It was actually quite easy to set up.
Close up on the spindle. Note to anyone who has spun on a charkha - I know I have the bearing in the wrong place. The good folks at the Yahoo Charkha group set me straight. (I love a world that has a Yahoo Charkha group!)
Look forward to a posting featuring yarn actually spun on my new wheel - I have some tussah silk and organic cotton sliver that been waiting for its moment of glory!