Well, I think I’ve about reached the point of stupidity in trying to cram any more yarn onto a Bosworth featherweight spindle. This has been an exercise I decided to get into primarily because I feel like I can get more yarn on a comparable low whorl spindle than a top whorl — but if I really pushed hard, what could I do?
I’m not entirely positive that I can’t come up with a cop-winding method that allows for more. But so far, here’s my personal best:
The mechanics of the cop are the hard part; too far down the shaft, and you don’t have enough leverage to start the spindle with a roll, or if you roll too hard you loosen part of the cop; too triangular, then you’ve lost a lot of real estate that makes it so you can’t secure the yarn in the notch on the way to the hook. But the cop needs to be roughly bell-shaped or else it’s not stable and doesn’t spin well.
Anyway, this is a 12 gram spindle… holding 60 grams of spun yarn. That’s over 2 ounces, and 5 times its unladen weight. This was not too much weight; spin properties were fine. The cop just won’t stay happy anymore and it’s a little hard to get a good spin on the thing with only a little over an inch of shaft exposed.
I even pulled half of it off and stored it on my fingers and rewound it, last night; minimal returns from that, maybe another 8g of fiber.
The fiber in question is commercial merino top; it’ll be interesting to see what the low whorl does for capacity.
So next, for science, I’ll take a similar-sized low whorl spindle, and repeat with the same fiber.