The Drop Spindle

The drop spindle is one of the most basic tools for spinning and weaving. To successfully make thread, you need to use the drop spindle correctly. There are different mechanisms for using the device, depending on what you are trying to achieve. You can spin using various types of spindles too. Some individuals may choose to make their own drop spindle.

How to Use

A beginner can successfully learn how to handspin by using the spindle correctly. These are very inexpensive and are quite easy to make. As soon as you have mastered the spindle, you can expect to have already learned the steps to successfully spin using the spinning wheel. You can draft out the fibers, twist the fiber to form a yam and wind up and store the spun yarn.

The First Steps

The first step is to tie the leader on. Link the leader to the drop spindle by tying a piece of yarn measuring around 18 inches long to the shaft just over the whorl. Take the yarn to the side of the whorl, then loop it around the shaft located below. Loop back over the whorl’s side and secure the end to the hook. Start spinning by leaving the fibers at the end of the leader loose. The spindle should hang under your hand hanging by the leader.

More Fiber

The spindle should be held by the right hand, while the left hand holds the leader. Spin the drop spindle away from the shaft in a clockwise motion. This is the same direction you will be using to successfully spin the yarn. You should start practicing to rotate the spindle correctly. Continue the process of spinning in the same direction until the time the leader starts to take in the twist. Leave some fiber at the end to join on more fiber.

On Winding

You have to maintain tension on the freshly spun yarn to let the twist run into the freshly drafted fiber. As soon as you let go of the tension, the twist should not travel up. Repeat the process a couple of times and observe if there is adequate twist before you proceed. If the yarn separates or becomes very slack, you should spin the spindle again to store additional twist. Once the yarn is long to allow the spindle to touch the ground, the yarn should unhook then wrapped around the spindle base right next to the whorl. You would have spun a single by now. Provide enough yarn to slip the hook back on using two inches to loosen the end fibers.

Joining the Fibers

You can overlap the wool some inches just over the fibers to catch and twist into the leader. Let the twist run into the joined fibers. You can add more twist by turning the spindle before you make new lengths of yarn. You can provide another twist to the spindle. Twist the spindle another time and provide your right hand back to where the left is holding the yarn.

Move the left hand back 3 inches, the pull and draft more wool fibers to let the spindle turn around. Let go of the yarn using the right hand and the twist should move up into the fibers. More fibers should be pulled out from the mass of the fiber by tugging the left hand. The twist should run into the fibers being drafted.

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