The Rose spindle was designed in 2009 (in honor of my late mother) to incorporate both the spiraled grooved spinning tip of the French spindle with the shaft and supporting point of a Russian-style spindle. The lip (approximately 3 inches below the spinning tip) also serves to compartmentalize the yarn storage area of the spindle. Some find this helpful when spinning on-the-go; the singles will not slide up the shaft and creep towards the spinning tip.
Anatomy of a Rose spindle. Starting at the bottom, there is the dart-shaped supporting tip; then, there’s the cut-in neck; the storage shaft; and finally, the spiraled groove spinning tip.
Purpose of the spiraled groove spinning tip. French spindles (depending on their construction) can be used handheld, supported, and sometimes suspended. The spiraled groove directs the yarn up the shaft towards the center of the spinning tip. The wider spinning tip and groove helps the spinner with a bit more traction over a supported Russian spindle with a narrow spinning tip. If using the spindle handheld, that extra skin-to-spindle contact helps with grip.
Rose and French spindles are handed. The spiraled grove can be slanted to the clockwise or counterclockwise directions. It is considered more ergonomic to spin the spindle in the clockwise direction if you are right handed, and counterclockwise if you are left handed. However, there are exceptions and many people can and do spin clockwise with their left hands. Most people do not find that the spiral groove interferes when using the spindle to ply in the opposite direction.
Rose spindles can be fitted with a pigtail cap (like the French spindle), and it can be used handheld, supported, and suspended. Without a cap, it is commonly used handheld and supported.
Why would I wish to spin handheld? Sometimes a supporting surface or the space required for using a suspended spindle is not available (like in a car, on the bus, or when traveling around). Also, handheld spindles are uniquely suited for creating wide diameter (thick spun) and low-twist singles.