Drop Spindles

© 1994 Lynn Ruggles. See the end for a more detailed copyright statement.

When I was learning how to spin everybody told me that I should learn on a drop spindle first before learning on a wheel, so I tried it. I found it very frustrating and extremely unrewarding. I was lucky and found a cheap wheel for sale through the classified ads in a small local paper, so I bought it and used it to learn how to spin. Once I decided that spinning was something that I liked to do and would continue to do regularly, I bought a really nice wheel. I didn't take a formal class until I'd been spinning for about 2 years -- all I had was some initial instructions from a friend and lots of books (many from the library). I should also add that my spinning improved drastically after a few classes!

Now that I think that I am a fairly good spinner, I can use a drop spindle easily, and find it very non-frustrating and rewarding to play with. It wasn't until I understood the principles of spinning that I understood how to use a drop spindle correctly (so it didn't drop every 5 seconds or overtwist the yarn).

At SOAR'92, one of the most popular classes was taught by Rita Buchanan on using a drop spindle. Many people who were accomplished spinners on a wheel had a real phobia about spinning on a drop spindle, due to early bad experiences.

So, different things work for different folks. If you do get a drop spindle (and they are cheap -- $4-$8 generally) and you can't get it to work, don't decide that spinning isn't for you. Check out some other sources (the suggestion about beginning spinning classes is a good one), or find someone who spins who can help you out.

If you do buy a drop spindle, keep a few things in mind:

Good luck!

Copyright Notice:
© 1994 by Lynn Ruggles. This article is copylefted. It may be used by individuals for personal use only. It can be distributed to and shared with others as long as it remains fully intact, including this copyright notice. It may not be sold, used to produce items for sale, or used in a compilation or archive of any kind without the expressed written permission of the author. All rights are expressly reserved by the author.

If you have comments, please send email to: Lynn Ruggles.

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