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The Spindle....Raw fleece

Spinning with a spindle is the most basic form of spinning. Years ago it was the sheep farmer who did most of the spinning with a spindle as he wandered the fields looking after his sheep.Spindle


Raw unwashed Jacobs Fleece.

It is easy to see why this can be as a spindle is small and portable and could be employed at any time to pass away the hours...especially at lambing time. Although it seems a very basic way of spinning, in actual fact very beautiful yarn can be produced in this way and quite quickly once you have got the hang of it.


It is also possible to 'ply' the yarn in the same way with a spinndle. I always start spinning lessons with a lesson on the spindle, because it follows that if you can handle a spindle, a spinning wheel is going to be very little problem at all!

Also it is rather nice to master the skill that was used generations ago, and is still relevant today to those of us who wish to make beautiful yarn in a traditional manner. Although it looks very difficult, like many things it is just a matter of getting used to knowing how much twist to put on the yarn to prevent the spindle from dropping and the yarn breaking. And like many other things it simply takesPoppy & Derrick practice… It also helps to learn this skill if your using fleece with a fairly long staple.


There is no way of actually describing this that would help you to do it, and I would recommend going on to YouTube where there are little videos of people actually doing this that are really really helpful

Things to remember….                          

Unless you have a well weighted spindle it will not work for you at all, and I find that some of the cheaper mass produced spindles offered by  companies that sell accoutrements for spinning simply do not work as the whorl (the round bit at the bottom) seems to be too light.  The best way is to get a wood turner to make one for you, and stipulate that the whorl is a good big size and fairly heavy, then you can’t go wrong!

nice drop spindleWhen you first begin to draw the yarn out, it is bound to snap when the twist on the spindle runs out! (You will understand what this means when you first try at) the spindle will drop to the floor and ‘joining on again’ is difficult for a beginner. Make sure that you stop to twist the spindle every few minutes to ensure that the yarn doesn't thin and part, better 'overspun' to begin with than 'underspun' and unusable! You will see what I mean when the short video for this is added to this page.

It is easier when learning to have three spindles so that you can fill both and then ply them together with out too much trouble.

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