Part 2: Equipment and Fibers

Section B: Spinning Equipment

Drop spindle

To use a drop spindle, first attach a leader to the empty spindle. Use a thin yarn, either plied or with the same direction of twist as you intend to spin. Secure the leader yarn to the top of the spindle with a half hitch or wrapping the yarn under the hook if there is one. Image 1 shows a top whorl spindle with a hook. Image 2 shows two bottom whorl spindles, one with a hook and one without.

Join a section of prepared fiber by overlapping the end of the leader and holding them together. Turn the spindle and pull out a small amount of fiber to start the new yarn. The fiber should wrap firmly around the leader. Check the spindle to be sure it is still turning, and do not allow it to turn in the opposite direction. Continue drafting and turning the spindle until you have an arm's length of yarn. Image 3 shows one hand turning the spindle and the other holding the unspun fiber. You can also turn a top whorl spindle by rolling it against your leg.

Unfasten the leader from the top of the spindle and wind the yarn on the shaft. Hold the yarn under tension and wind it in a firm cop near the whorl, going back an forth so it does not cut into the layers below. Leave enough length to re-fasten the end to continue spinning. When you near the end of your fiber, overlap the ends of the old and new prepared fiber and draft them together. The spindle is full when it is too heavy to spin the size yarn you wish, or there is no empty space on the shaft to hold it.


This item is scored with its associated yarn.