Free Drop Spindle Spinning: What Would a World Overrun by Spinners Look Like?
Every once in a while I start to daydream about what a world overrun by drop spindle spinning would look, and more importantly, feel like. What if everyone was a spinner? Standing in line at the grocery store you would be discussing with others the merits of your spindle or fiber you’re spinning with, the clerk would stop to admire your neck scarf and then pull out a cardigan she just finished to show you, exclaiming that the silk/Merino blend you recommended last month was just perfect—in fact, they are now stocking it on aisle 2, just down from the niddy-noddies.
At the doctor’s office, the waiting room would have ballwinders and swifts set up for use by the patients, and the nurse would give you a free sample of lanolin cream. At the post office, there would be a desk devoted to shipping spinning wheels—and boxes for all the different styles. Around the dining room table, emotions would rise as the merits of long wools versus short wools were discussed. Lawns would be kept trim and fertilized by flocks of sheep, goats, or alpacas; the sound of lawn mowers replaced by the “baaing” of lambs. When meeting new people for the first time, you’d reach out to feel their sweater, rather than shake their hand. Contentment would reign, peace would be found, yarn would be made.
I wake up from my reverie, and realize that I have the perfect tool to assist in the plot to take over the world, er, I mean, to teach the gentle and ancient art of handspinning to those who express a desire to learn. We’ve created a great new free downloadable eBook to teach drop spindle spinning.
Learning how to spin is learning the process of drawing out the fibers and adding twist until you have created a continuous thread of stable yarn. Starting out on a hand spindle is a great way to master the craft with a minimum of expense and equipment. Drop spindles are ancient tools that were a necessity in ancient times and are still used in many parts of the world to produce thread and yarn. If you’re thinking about picking up drop spindle spinning for the first time, you may not know the difference in spindle whorls and why they matter. Learn the drop spinning process from expert spinners and take pride into creating your very own handspun yarn.
What’s Inside this FREE Drop Spindle Spinning eBook?:
Make Your Own Hand Spindle
A book excerpt from Spin It: Making Yarn from Scratch By Lee Raven, Edited By Traci Bunkers
Learn how to make your own drop spindle. Make a simple spindle using recycled compact disks, a grommet, a small eye hook, and a dowel. Follow these instructions to create your own spindle. Once you learn, you can experiment with different spindle whorls to customize your spindle to your preference. For a top whorl drop spindle, you’ll position your recycled CD about 2 inches down from the hook. For a bottom whorl drop spindle, you’ll position the CD about 10 inches down. You’ll need a bit of practice to get the hang of turning the spindle efficiently but you will be spinning your own yarn before you know it!
Selecting the Best Spindle Whorl
High Whorl, Low Whorl By Abby Franquemont
If you’re thinking about picking up drop spindle spinning for the first time, you may find yourself asking if you want a low-whorl or a high-whorl drop spindle—or even what the difference is between the two, and if it matters. So what’s the deal? What is the difference? How much does it matter, and when? Why do we even have different kinds of spindle whorls, anyway? Some spinners only spin with top-whorl drop spindles, while others swear by bottom-whorl drop spindles. It’s a matter of preference and the type of yarn you’re spinning. Get more tips from this eBook to discover which spindle whorl is best for you.
A Love Affair with Hand Spindles
Spindle Spinning By Maggie Casey
Your first hand spindle should weigh 2 to 3 ounces, lighter weight spindles are available but a heavier spindle will keep turning while you learn to draft out the fibers. Don’t choose one that is too heavy, however, or you will learn how they were named. The spindle should turn smoothly without a lot of wobble and continue to spin for some time. This is how you get started. Maggie explains each step of the drop spinning process starting with choosing a spindle that’s best for you. She explains different techniques depending on the whorl you’ve chosen. This free eBook includes detailed photographs and drop spindle instructions, you won’t want to miss it. Download your free copy today!
Drafting for Woolen and Worsted-Style Yarns on a Spindle and Managing Your Yarn
By Carol Huebscher Rhoades
“When I am spinning woolen (long draw) on the spindle, my right hand is in charge of turning the spindle and pinching the twist off and on as I draft back with my left hand. For worsted spinning (short draw), my left hand holds the fiber while my right hand controls the spindle, drafts fiber forward, and controls the twist as it enters the drafted fibers.” Follow Carol’s instructions to select the ideal drafting method for the type of yarn you want.
After you’ve spun yarn on, you have to decide how to manage it so that you can ply the yarn and wash it. What you do depends partially on the fiber and the amount of twist in it and partially on what equipment you have on hand. In this free eBook, Carol will show you how to get your yarn off the drop spindle for plying and skeining.
Tying a 2-Yard Skein and Plying on a Spindle
By Pat Noah, Maggie Casey, and Amy Clarke Moore
Plying is twisting your single spun threads together. Maggie shares her experience and what has worked best for her when plying on a spindle. She shows you how she likes to transfer the yarn from her spindle and the several different plying techniques she has tried. Amy walks you through the Andean plying technique, an ingenious technique for plying from a spindle. She recommends using this technique for small amounts of yarn. Give it a try and don’t get tied up!
After you have spun and plied your singles, you need to take your yarn off and make it into a skein. Pat shows you how to use a Niddy-noddy to simplify the process.
Drop spindle spinning doesn’t mean that you’re limited to one type of yarn. It’s the same working as it is on a spinning wheel: you choose the fiber, preparation, and drafting technique to get the yarn you want. To get a particular yarn, you will need to select an appropriate type. There are basically two types of spindles; suspended and supported. Suspended spindles come in two basic forms: bottom whorl drop spindle, and top whorl drop spindle. One major difference between the two is where on the shaft, the weight (called a spindle whorl) is placed.
I know you have people in your life that you know would benefit from learning how to spin. You see them everywhere—perhaps they are the ones who express incredulity that anyone would spend time making their own yarn (while they sit watching TV for hours on end), perhaps they wonder why you have a bathtub full of wet wool or Angora fuzz stuck all over your pants. You know that they would leave behind these judgmental and potentially damaging thoughts if they only really sunk their hands into a freshly shorn fleece or felt the thrill of hand-dyed Targhee zipping through their fingers as their handspindle swung below. Well, now you have a tool to use. Let them know about our free eBook Drop Spindle Spinning: Learn How to Spin with Drop Spindles, which pulls our best content from 35 years of Spin-Off magazines from the most knowledgeable spinning teachers, and imagine a world full of wool and spinners.
From fleece to yarn, follow our experts and dive into the art of spinning on a hand spindle. Learn the secrets to easily manage your yarn, learn the process of plying on a spindle, and learn how to tie a skein. Understanding the differences between spindles and whether you prefer a top whorl drop spindle or a bottom whorl drop spindle, is important. This free eBook on drop spindle spinning does not only get you started on learning how to spin but it also explores several techniques and walks you through each step of the craft with beautiful photos and detailed instructions.
P.S. Even if you can’t think of your first victim, er, I mean recipient of this wonderful resource, don’t forget to download your own copy of Drop Spindle Spinning: Learn How to Spin with Drop Spindles and tell us about your adventures spreading the word about the world of spinning!