Giving Drop Spindling Another Go

**If you are looking for info about the podversary GIVEAWAY, check out Episode 24 on Youtube** Come celebrate with me!  🙂


I’ve been spinning since 2015–on a wheel. When I first made the move to fiber, I was often told: ‘oh, you don’t need a wheel at first, just try a drop spindle! It’s cheap and easy to see whether you like the craft before you invest in a wheel!’ And I tried! But, every time I picked up a drop spindle, I promptly dropped it on the floor.

I know, it happens to everyone. Truly, I do know that the drops of drop spindles are part of the process; it would be weirdly amazing if one could pick up a new craft or tool and use it perfectly the first time round! But, I also didn’t know what I didn’t know: that there really are different spindles and size does matter. Along with fiber to spindle match.

Thankfully, three years in, I finally had a true lesson from Debbie and Sue. It involved a silk hankie–which was a process in and of itself!–but mostly, it involved Debbie handing me a mini (under 25 gram and less than 9″ long), top whorl, center-weighted drop spindle. I hesitated, remembering all of my fails in the past. But then, I tried. And it was amazing. Perhaps it was the number of years and spun skeins between now and then, perhaps it was the right spindle for the right job, but I’d like to think it was mostly the friendly, good-humored, and excellent teachers whose patience was infinite. [THANKS, Debbie and Sue!]

I felt like a super hero. I was sent home with a small spindle and some roving. And I now know that my main problem (besides being a new spinner) were my tools: huge, weighty, bottom whorl spindles used with a mismatch of fiber. Sigh. If only all lessons were this easy to learn and all ignorance was this easy to correct 🙂


This entry was posted in community, drop spindle, fiber, learning, spinning, tips, unexpected, unicorns. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Giving Drop Spindling Another Go

  1. I spun for years before I could conquer spindling, too! Enjoy the extra skill!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Debbie says:

    I always knew you could do it! You go girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliot says:

    Would you mind sharing how to recognize a mismatched fiber/spindle combination? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Eliot–for me, the trouble was trying to drop spindle with top (not roving) as a beginner–and merino at that! Plus, I was trying to spindle this fiber on a heavy drop spindle that was at least 12-14″ long and bottom whorl. This time around, I tried on a 20gram, center-weighted, mini spindle (about 9″ long) and used some roving. It was much, much easier to get the mechanics down without the fiber-spindle mismatch struggle–at least as a beginner. I am firmly convinced that experienced spindlers could likely spin anything with anything! Someday, maybe! I hope that helps!


  4. AJ says:

    Glad the lesson was a success! So nice when you have the right tools for the job!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. madgeface says:

    I was very lucky to have experienced spinners who are good teachers in my knitting group who taught me how to spin! Their first advice was to get a different spindle and use my “beginner” spindle for plying. So glad you gave spindling another go!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. whatzitknitz says:

    I have been knitting for 50ish years but cannot consider myself an expert. there is always something new to learn. it boggles the mind that knitters can still come up with new ways to combine 2 basic stitches for patterns.
    3 years ago my daughter taught me to spin and that has added a new level onto my craft. learning to spin has me looking at yarn in a completely new way

    Liked by 1 person

    • whatzitknitz says:

      this is so funny… I reading the comments above and suddenly read the comment that I left on the last episode post about expertise. I don’t know why that happened.

      I do enjoy that you are learning to use a spindle. I took a spindle class maybe 5 years ago and it didn’t click. then 2 years ago I bought a spindle at a festival and it clicked. I think it made all the difference that I know how to draft and spin on a wheel. plus the spindle was much better than the dvd spindle and the toy wheel and dowel spindles I tried. having a well made tool makes all the difference. early this spring I bought a Snyder Turkish spindle…if you ever have a chance to try one of his spindles go for it. they are absolutely wonderful and so easy to spin with.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I love your thoughts and the fact that you can say you have been knitting for 50 years and still dont consider yourself an expert! Wonderful to always be learning and trying new things 🙂 Thanks for your kind comments. I have long wanted to try a turkish spindle and it’s on my list. Once I get a bit more practice in with this little guy I have and the fiber Debbie sent me home with. ❤


  7. Kitten With A Whiplash says:

    I made my first drop spindle from the base, lid and spindle from a pack of 100 cds. It’s about 7.5 inches, bottom whorl and can weigh either 35 or 60 gr. I don’t spin often, and can’t say I’m good at it. Sometimes I look at my uneven singles with dismay, but I’ve always liked the finished result once it’s plied. I look forward to trying a wheel, and have considered making a DIY wheel. Hey, it worked with the spindle, right?

    Liked by 1 person

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