Part 2: Equipment and Fibers

Section B: Spinning Equipment

Small supported spindle

Most bottom whorl spindles can be used with a support bowl or surface. A spindle designed for supported spinning typically has a plain tapered shaft rather than a hook. To use a supported 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 by spiraling the yarn up the shaft. Turn the spindle in the same direction as you intend to spin. Set the bottom of the spindle in a shallow bowl or on a hard surface. If the spindle has a hook, fasten as for a drop spindle and hold the yarn above the spindle. If not, hold the yarn at an angle away from the shaft but not so low that the yarn winds on (image 5.) One twist is added to the yarn each time it spirals off the tip of the rotating spindle.

Join a section of prepared fiber to the leader. Support the top of the spindle between your fingers so it does not fall over, start the spindle turning with a flick of your fingers to add twist and then hold the top of the shaft to draft against. Use a one hand long draw method (unsupported long draw or point of twist) to spin with one hand controlling the fiber and the other the spindle. Continue drafting and turning until you have an arm's length of yarn. Add more twist if needed before winding on.

Unwind the yarn from the top of the spindle and wind it on the shaft. The spindle is full when there is no empty space on the shaft to hold it or the cop is too large to comfortably handle (image 4.)


This item is scored with its associated yarn.