So I went and bought myself an Indian Book charkha:
It's about the same size as a textbook and light as a feather. Once inside, there's lots to see:
Unfortunately, I don't know how the heck it works, how to make it work or how not to hurt myself trying. So far, I've spun crap and I'd show it to you except the trash went out yesterday.
All I managed to do successfully is cut my finger (not on a spindle) and stab myself quite a few times on the spindle. I'm at the beginning of the learning curve and if there was a test on setting the charkha up, I'd get a zero.
Anyone with advice or knows a teacher in the Bronx, please drop me a line before I kill myself.
Meanwhile, I've got a Saturday deadline to make some baby stuff, tomorrow is Thursday and I haven't even begun! Oy!