One of them was a drop-dead gorgeous spindle with a handmade polymer clay whorl and a black rosewood shaft, about 10 1/2 inches long that weighs 1 ounce:
I love the clay whorl, not just for its handmade beauty, but also because the material has some "tooth" to it. Without having to have a notch in the whorl, the side surface of the clay whorl helps hold the yarn against it. The spindle is well balanced and spins with no wobble or hiccups.
Zebisis also sent a fiber sample gift with my spindles purchase - about an ounce of this wool/silk/alpaca blend that was handpainted in a very pretty mix of eggplant, apple green, with a touch of golden yellow:
I decided to use my new spindle to enjoy this gift, and this spinning project became one of those that helped me stay sane during the very stressful months of December & January. I spun the fiber very thinly in order to maximize the length of yarn I could get from the sample quantity. And since I've wanted to practice Navajo (or chain) plying, I wound my single into a plying ball and went to work creating a final 3-ply yarn from the original single:
In addition to getting some more practice with this plying technique, I like how I was able to keep the colors of the final yarn very clear from each other:
I finished the yarn with a 20 minute soak in hot water with a bit of soap in it, then a 10 minute soak in cold water. After one last 10 minute soak in hot water, I squeezed out the excess water, gave the yarn a couple of thwacks and hung it up to dry. I do not block my yarns, so the yarn was not hung up with any weights on it. The final yarn:
Vital statistics: blend of Cormo wool, silk & alpaca, 3/4 ounce, 92 yards, 21 wpi, light fingering/heavy laceweight