Drop Spindle Tutorial

Spinning wool into yarn is a satisfying, empowering feeling, speaking as a knitter who went years without giving handspinning a second thought. I harbored skepticism about whether I was capable of creating yarn I'd want to use in my knitting, and that alone prevented me from giving it a go for years. 

Save the most gifted and skilled among us, myself definitely not included in that category, most everyone will make yarn which is immediately recognizable as handspun. A slightly uneven slubby single, or a dense rope-like spin, they all wave little flags embroidered on them an obvious fact: we were not made by machine. The best advice I can give to a novice spinner: don't focus on the quality of yarn, and enjoy learning a new task. My first knitting project was a tight, horrible mess, and my first handspun could be described the same way. Get past the horror of creating something imperfect, and know it will eventually improve.

Investing $400+ on a spinning wheel is daunting, especially for those who don't know if they'll stick with spinning in the long term. Drop spindles are fantastic for testing the waters. Low cost investment, totally portable, and the perfect introduction for learning about wool characteristics. 

We thought a drop spindle tutorial would be a helpful resource for those who are new to the idea of spinning, especially those living in an area without a teacher to show the process in person. My coworker Leila helped me film a basic tutorial for how to use our Bare Bones spindle with the Stone Wool Farm Roving in Romney. All instructions are given in text form within the video rather than verbally in audio, and I hope it's helpful for someone trying this out for the first time. 

Basic Drop Spindle Tutorial

  • Roving: I'd recommend using roving over using top for a first-time spinner. The differences between the two likely merit their own blog post, but the essential difference is the amount of space between the fibers. Roving is a loftier, and easier to spin for a first timer. Staple length is also a huge factor for easy spinning. Our Romney is ~5" inches, and I'd stay away from anything under 3.5."
  • Drop Spindle: Our Bare Bones spindle from Greensleeves spindles was specifically created for those learning to spin. It's well-balanced and has a consistent slower spin.
  • Plied Wool Yarn: This doesn't have to be anything special, and does not have to match the roving. This is used to join the roving to the drop spindle. 


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