Learning how to use a drop spindle has been on my “list” for several years. Probably longer than my boy has been alive. However, textile arts don’t seem to be a good fit on a gun guys blog. I am more than just a gun guy. Besides, I like having socks with no holes and warm clothes. This makes learning how to make wool yarn and weave an interest of mine.
I find this is something I can do almost on autopilot. It gives me something to do while I explore that nothing box in my brain.
Now, the fiber art aficionados, will be quick to point out my technique is wrong. It is. You are supposed to drop the spindle not spin it in your hand. However, I finally got around to trying this during recovery from ear surgery. I am off balance and higher than I ought to be. Be aware, my wife was amazed I could talk. I do not do well with pain narcotics.
A Drop Spindle is an easy thing to make, its nothing more than a dowel stuck inside a weight. One end is rounded, and the other has a hook.
Using it is pretty simple also, here are the basic steps:
- Take piece of roving and twist the end into yarn
- Tie the yarn to the dowel under the weight and pull the twisted roving over the weight and hook it into the hook
- give the spindle a twist to get the yarn twisting while pinching the roving tightly a few inches above the hook. This keeps the twist from running up the wool
- Once the yarn is twisted tightly move up the roving a few inches to let the twist run up the roving
- spin it again and repeat the steps until you have a foot or so of yarn
- Unhook the yarn and wrap it on the spindle under the weight
- Rehook and begin twisting
- Once you have enough yarn it is important to wrap the yard into a skein (I wrap mine around a piece of wood) and soak it in warm water. by rubbing the yarn under water the fibers felt and the yarn becomes permanent.