1.11.2009

Tips for beginning to spin on a spindle

I had trouble learning to spin on a spindle, I discovered years later why. Below I will list the tips I learned along the way:

1. Don't purchase a cheap spindle, like my mama taught me, 'you get what you pay for', many cheaper spindles are fine, but when learning, spend a little more money to get a nicer one. As a rule they are better balanced.

2. Top vs: bottom spindles, if you are not having much luck with one, try the other. It seems that most spinners prefer the top whorl spindles they are faster, but I was terribly awkward with one. Many years later I tried again with a bottom spindle and was successful. A bottom spindle allowed me to use it as a supported spindle, then I could get the feel of what my hands were doing. I also found the KnitWitch and bought one of her Spindle Bowls. Turkish spindles are harder to find but also give you the support option. (try looking at Jenkins Spindles)

3. Fiber types- A longer fiber is much easier to learn on than a short one. I know everything looks yummy, but purchase a fiber that is pulled into a long sliver of roving, this is often described as carded and combed wool sliver. One of my favorite sellers is CJKopec, you can find her on etsy

4. Resources: Check out many different resources online and in print, and don't forget You Tube. It is like having your own teacher, reading about how-to and watching is all it takes for that light bulb moment sometimes.

Some of my favorite resources are:

Allfiberarts.com, all kinds of basic info, plus some short videos on how to start

Joy of Handspinning.com Great comprehensive source

Handspinning at LaHottee, lots and lots of info.

YouTube type in handspinning, spindle, wool wheel, drop spindles, and three hours later you will be hooked.

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2 comments:

  1. I agree with #1. I too started with a cheap spindle and hated it. The first time I tried, I refused to spin again for 3 years. The 2nd time I tried, I only made one small ball of yarn before giving up. It wasn't until I bought my Jenkins that I really fell in love with spinning.
    I'm so glad to have my spinning stuff back out in our living room. I had it hidden during the holidays.

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  2. Your yarns really do make me wish i could knit....

    Thanks for posting,
    Sherlyn

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