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Thursday, 17 February 2011

Drop Spindling

This is what is on my drop spindle at the moment.  Rust coloured merino that I am spindling up to knit a fox.

Drop spindling makes a good starting point for anyone wishing to try out spinning.  It is an incredibly simple spinning tool which has been used forever and is still used as the primary spinning tool in many remote areas world over.

These are my favourite YouTube spindling videos showing incredible women spindling so naturally, so simply..

There is something very freeing about drop spindling.  They are small enough to fit into a small bag or tucked into a large pocket.  Not only are they a simple tool but they are simple to use too.  What I enjoy about spindling it that is is so easy to fit around the children.  I can take my spindle along with me to the woods and do a bit there, standing amongst the trees, or sitting on a tree stump, then pack it away so easily and be on the move as the children run off to explore further.  I can sit in the sun, or walk about the garden.. I can spindle anywhere, fitting in a little here and there and therefore fit more spinning in.

I started spinning using a drop spindle and then moved on to a spinning wheel when I could afford to get a good secondhand wheel.  I found it relatively easy to transfer the techniques I had learnt on the spindle over to the spinning wheel without much trouble at all.  I use both now.  The drop spindle to spin on the go and for smaller projects and the wheel when I want to settle and get lots of spinning done.

I find I can control my spinning more precisely too and that the drop spindle offers versatility in the yarn I create.  

Great information here:

I would recommend these books:
Spinning in the old way - I love this book.

Instructions to make your own drop spindle look here:

There are all manner of designs, shapes, sizes of drop spindles available.  Some are works of art - fantastic!  There are quite a few basic spindles about.  For example here is a basic starter set.  
Starter pack with spindle, book on spindling and fleece - 

Spindles will always be used just as they always have been used for many, many years!