Drop Spindles

A wonderful way to learn how to spin is to use a drop spindle. It is inexpensive, fun and portable. We carry several different spindles and learning kits. My favorite spindle to teach drop spindling is the Louet Top Whirl Drop Spindle. It is very sturdy and has good balance.
Ann Grout Spindles
Ann Grout Spindles are delightful ceramic spindles with wonderful balance. They come in lace weight to 5 oz. spindles in a variety of Celtic and other designs. Call or e-mail for specific descriptions and availability of sizes. –$17.00
Drop Spindle Instructions
Fiber Preparation
* Commercial wool roving has been machine carded into one long continuous strand. Before starting to spin, split thick roving in half or quarters lengthwise, depending on the thickness. Tear off a foot long strip of thin roving & wrap it around your wrist. Hold one end in your hand.
Attaching Fiber to Spindle
* Slip the hook at the top of the spindle into the end of your piece of roving. Begin twisting the spindle clockwise. The fiber will begin to attach itself to the hook. Continue spinning the spindle clockwise while pulling back on the fiber to thin it out. This process is called “drafting”. A piece of yarn should begin to form out of your mass of fibers. Continue spinning and gently stretching the fiber until you have 8 – 12 inches of spun yarn. Take the yarn off the hook and tie it underneath the round whorl on the spindle. Bring the yarn up behind the hook and pass it from the right to the left side through the hook. The spindle should be able to hang from the yarn that you just created. Beware: Do not allow the spindle to backspin (spin counter clockwise) because your yarn will become untwisted and fall apart.Spinning Yarn – Stop & Start Method
* Coordinating your hands to both draft the fiber and spin the spindle can be quite challenging at first. So begin with these easy steps. Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet on the ground.
* Step 1: Hold the fiber about an inch above the hook with one hand (left hand). Next spin the spindle clockwise with a good flick of the hook or stem with your index finger and thumb with the other hand (right hand). Let the spindle spin for 3 – 5 seconds then stop it by clasping it with your knees. Now use both hands to draft the fiber. The hand closest to the hook, prevents the twist from moving up the fiber until you release your grip. The upper hand pulls the fiber until it is drafted to the desired thickness. When the twist is released by the bottom hand, yarn is created. Draft with top hand (left hand), then release the twist with bottom hand (right hand). It does not matter which hand drafts and which pinches off the twist. Position your hands according to your natural inclination.
* Step 2: Continue this process until you have 2 – 3 feet of yarn. Unhook the yarn and wrap it clockwise around the stem, just below the whorl. Each time you wind the yarn onto the stem, build a cone shape that is thicker next to the whorl and thinner as it moves down the stem. The cone shape helps balance the spindle for more stable spinning. Repeat steps 1 & 2 until you can produce yarn with ease.So This is Why it is called a Drop Spindle!
* Start the spindle spinning. Move one hand into the position to stop the twist from moving up the mass of fiber and the other in place to draft. You must work more quickly when drafting with the spindle spinning. Using the hand which starts the spindle spinning clockwise, quickly grip the yarn above the hook. The other hand moves up to gently hold the mass of fibers and begins drafting. After several inches are drafted the bottom hand quickly releases its grip just for a moment. You will see the twist move into the fiber you have just drafted. Repeat this process of drafting and releasing the twist until the spindle stops spinning. Give the spindle another spin and continue. When the spindle reaches the floor, discontinue drafting and wind the yarn around the stem in a cone shape. Oh no, the fiber pulled apart the and spindle fell on the floor! That’s why it is called a drop spindle! Ideally, the spindle lowers (drops) to the floor as you spin but the fiber doesn’t break. If it does, this is what you do.

More detailed instructions are included in our Drop Spindle Kit.


More Spindles
TWDS Louet Top Whirl Drop Spindle–$12.95
A wooden spindle with the whirl and a hook at the top of the post.
BWDS Louet Bottom Whirl Drop Spindle–$14.95
A wooden spindle with the whirl at the bottom of the post.ODS Louet Octogonal Drop Spindle–$10.95
New lighter weight drop spindle from LouetDSP Drop Spindle Package contains a Louet Top Whirl Drop Spindle, Drop Spindling- An instruction pamphlet, and 4 oz. or more of fiber. –$28.00

Turkish Spindle Ashford’s Turkish Spindle–$24.75
This cross piece spindle allows you to wind a pull ball of yarn so you can ply from both ends after removing the ball from the spindle.

Schacht Hi / Lo Spindle–$18.00
Schacht’s double ended spindle can be used as either a top whorl or bottom whorl spindle. Comes in three sizes – 1.1″, 3″ & 4″.

We carry the latest book on Spindling from Interweave Press.
SB1 Spin It New Drop Spindle Publication from Interweave Press–$11.95