How to use your drop spindle

The first step is to find some fluff to spin! I'm using one of my own blends that contains wool, mulberry silk, bamboo and glitter.

Now use a length of yarn which will be your "leader". I'm using a 45cm length of acrylic.  Tie a simple knot in the end.

Then attach to your drop spindle.

Slot it into the notch and round the hook.

Next I tear off a strip of the mix.

I then "pre draft" which is where you gently pull the fibres along the length to thin it out to the width that you want to spin it. You can do this with the entire length of fibre if you want, which saves drafting as you spin.

Now feed the end of your fibre through the leader. Then pinch the end into the longer length. Now you want to keep that pinch held and use the other hand to spin the spindle in a clockwise direction in the palm of your hand with your fingers.

The twist will travel up through to the fibre.

Give it a few more twists in the palm of your hand. Now, I personally plant the spindle in my lap but with more practice you won't need to. Using the hand that was holding the spindle, pinch where your other hand is on the fibre. That hand now releases and keeping your fingers around the fibre, travel up approximately 40cm and pinch again. Release the lower hand and grab your spindle again. 

 Now wrap your length of spun fibre around the rod.

Leave enough length to feed your fibre back into the notch and around the hook. Keep your fibre pinched the whole time.

Now hold up your spindle using the hand pinching the fibre and with the hand not holding the fibre, spin clockwise from the bottom of the rod.  If you're finding you're not getting enough spin, unwind some more of the fibre from the rod to get more momentum. 

<I give a couple of spins and then plant the spindle in my lap again, replace my pinching finger with the other hand and allow my hand to travel along the fibre again, then pinch.> Repeat this until you have a decent length of spun wool, then wind it around the rod.  Just keep repeating this movement until you run out of fibre!

It is very easy to draft your wool too fine, to rejoin it, simply straighten out the end of the fibre and pinch the new length on.

Keeping them pinched together, let the twist travel up through the fibre and the 2 lengths will join.


If you find that your wool is pulling apart as soon as you let the drop spindle hang you're not putting enough twist in.  However you don't wan't to put too much twist in (see below) as you will end up with a very lively yarn that when used will distort your project.  But...if you're going to ply your yarn (spin 2 or more of your single core yarns together in an anticlockwise direction) them overspin is okay as it will balance out.

If you want to put your spinning away, I find the best thing to do is wrap the end of your fibre around the hook a few times and then use a small peg to keep it in place.

When you have spun up all of your fibre, carefully unwrap it from your spindle and onto your niddy noddy.

Tie some yarn around the beginning and end of your yarn and trap those ends. If you have spun up a large quantity I would tie in more places to prevent your skein getting into a tangle.

Remove from your niddy noddy and fill a bowl with hot water and a dash of washing up liquid. Not boiling water.

Then gently place your yarn into the bowl. Leave for 20 minutes.

Gently rinse with hot water and squeeze the water out.  I then take the skein and whack the length of it against the wall. Keep rotating the skein around in your hand and whacking. I generally do 2 rotations around. 

Then proudly hang your yarn to dry!