The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Introduction to Spinning With A Drop Spindle

Drop spindles are an inexpensive (easy to make from materials on hand and you can buy one for as little as $12), portable way to spin — versus using a spinning wheel — and many people find that they also give them more control over the yarn they produce.

Abby Franquemont talks about the concept of spinning (the orientation of the fibers, what needs to happen to create yarn, what spinning accomplishes, etc.) and shows us how to spin on a drop spindle. Her demonstration spindle here is a high whorl or top whorl spindle. This is a really informative video.

Here is another top whorl spindle spinning tutorial by Megan McCourt. She’s sitting and using her knees to anchor the spindle. Abby was demonstrating spinning standing.

joyofhandspinning (Tulasi Zimmer) gives us a short bottom whorl spindle tutorial:

Here Sheila Dixon demonstrates a Turkish drop spindle, a unique kind of bottom whorl spindle:

Turkish spindles are useful since with them you create a ball of yarn as you spin and because they can be taken apart, which makes them a good option for portability.

In this video Ruthann McCaulley demonstrates a takli support spindle. Support spindles (just means that the spindle makes contact with the floor, a table or a bowl – so that its weight is supported by these objects and not by the yarn you are spinning) allow you to make fine yarn and thread.

Ruthann is spinning cotton and starts her tutorial with making a puni (which is like the cotton equivalent of roving; the fiber is prepared in a continuous cord).

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