Frank Williams Spindle Maker - Handcrafted tools for portable spinning

by Pinky Wittingslow August 16, 2018


Frank Williams Spindle Maker - Handcrafted tools for portable spinning

Pinky meets Frank Williams at the Old Bus Depot Markets in Canberra and learns why he failed at retirement and how to use his beautiful Turkish spindles which you will have the chance to win! Read on dear crafters...


Pinky, July 2018

I had heard about Frank and his beautiful wood work prior to the Expo and being a bit of a tinkerer with timber myself I was excited to meet him in person.

 Frank makes the most beautiful Spindles from a gourmet selection of timbers sourcing as much as he can from Australian hardwood varieties with a few special timbers ethically sourced from overseas. His range includes Turkish Spindles, Drop Spindles, Kick Spindles, Tapestry Bobbins, Yarn Holders, his own take on an Andean Plying Tool and recently an Indian Charkha! The range continues to grow too.


Frank's verison of an Indian Charkha

With every piece, Frank takes great care in ensuring his spindles have perfect balance and finished with wax to perfection showing off the natural aesthetics of the timber. He makes them in a range of sizes too and I was quite besotted with the mini Turkish Spindles he had on display that were perfectly pocket-sized.


A tiny pocket-sized Turkish Spindle by Frank Williams

How did Frank get into spindle-making you ask? Well he was a Cabinet Maker until he retired, found that he just couldn’t stop tinkering and joined a wood turner’s club where he earned to make spindles. "I failed at retiring" he says laughing.

He is always looking for the next challenge so I provided him with one; teaching me how to use a Turkish Spindle.


turkish spindle wrapped the right way


Inspired by Frank's passion for trying something new, I bought one of his Turkish spindles on the first day of the expo and took it back to the hotel to practice as he had taught me. Perhaps I should have tried it before a glass of wine as I took it back to show Frank my progress the next day in a fit of giggles as I had wound my yarn on upside down. "Ah yes, see you've gone over one and under two, you need to go over two and under one" he said; a very clever and very patient man indeed. I decided to give Frank a break though and will wait until next time to try the Tibetan Support Spindles. Haha!


Tibetan support spindles

So what does Frank have to say about his craft?

Q1: What was your first exposure to craft?

A1: Carpentry, and that was my life long career until I retired and started wood turning as a hobby.

Q2: What is the most unusual thing you have ever made?

A2: The Charkha. It was rather tricky but I enjoyed the challenge.

Q3: Why is a crafty life so important to you?

A3: I enjoy working with timber and my hands and I can’t seem to stop.

Q4: What would you tell someone just starting out in your craft?

A4: Don’t… Haha I’m joking. You will get addicted and fail at retirement like me. No, really my advice is to join a club for great advice, help and friendships.

Where to find Frank Williams Spindle Maker

Frank has an online store through Etsy where you can purchase from him. You can also email him directly via: or connect with him through the Ravelry community online. Etsy | Ravelry


But wait there's more.....

Head over to Facebook to enter the competition


For your chance to win this beautiful hand-crafted Olive and Western Australian Jarrah Spindle plus 100g of our fibre, here's what you need to do:

  1. Head over to our Facebook page post:
  2. Comment Below the 'Win this Spindle Post' with why you would like to win this spindle and what your favorite colour is.
  3. Make sure you have liked our Facebook Page.


Don't forget to subscribe to our email list at the bottom of our home page: so you'll be the first to know who won. Good luck lovelies! 

Competition Opens on the 16th August 2018 at 7:00am Melbourne time. Winner will be drawn on 29th of August and announced in our weekly email on the 30th of August and via Facebook. Once the winner has been contacted, their prize will be posted to them. See Terms & Conditions below.


Click to join our community over on Facebook

Use htis hashtag to share your creations with us on Instagram

Miss out on the fun?


Love Aunt Jenny xo



  1. The promoter is: Aunt Jenny Australia Ltd.
  2. The competition is open to Australian residents aged 18 years or over except employees of Aunt Jenny Australia Ltd and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
  3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  4. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  5. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
  6. Closing date for entry will be 9:00am (Melbourne time) on the 29th of August18. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  7. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  8. The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows:
  9. Head over to our Facebook page post:
  • Comment Below the 'Win this Spindle Facebook Post' with why you would like to win this spindle and what your favorite colour is.
  • Make sure you have liked our Facebook Page.
  • a winner will be chosen from the submissions by a representative of Aunt Jenny.
  1. The prize is as follows: 1 x Turkish Drop Spindle made by Frank Williams RRP $55, 100g of fibre from Aunt Jenny RRP $15 plus postage to winner's location. 
  2. The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prize is not transferable.
  3. Winners will be chosen on 29th August 2018 and announced on the 30th of August via our weekly subscription email and the Facebook Post.
  4. The promoter will notify the winner how the prize can be redeemed.
  5. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  6. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by Australian law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Australia.
  7. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current Australian data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
  8. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  9. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to Aunt Jenny Australia Ltd and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at





Pinky Wittingslow
Pinky Wittingslow

Pinky is a serial crafter who has devoted her life to making and teaching all things textiles because she truly believes we can craft ourselves to better health and a better world.

2 Responses

kim clarke
kim clarke

September 19, 2018

I have been looking for an australian maker of charka’s looks like i found him
your products look beautiful

Catherine Eldred
Catherine Eldred

August 30, 2018

Such beautiful spindles, made of stunning timbers. What a craftsman!

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