A distaff is great for holding your fibre and acting as a third hand when drafting. It has other uses too.
Here is a miniature of Orpheus lying on his back, protecting himself from Thracian women armed with spindles and distaffs from an English manuscript from around 1450.
I’ve never hit anyone with my distaff on purpose but when I have it through my belt I have to be aware of those around me, especially if I have it through my belt and turn around too quickly! I’ve also managed to drop it upon my own head a few times. Don’t ask how, I really couldn’t say! haha