No-Cost Drop Spindle
Wool obsession. Felting everything in sight, knitting in the movie theater, driving 80 miles to buy wool sweaters at thrift shops. Sometime last week I started fantasizing about raising sheep, goats, rabbits, llamas, plunging my hands into piles of their fleece/fur. Buying farm animals, feeding them, cleaning them, is a long way off from knit, purl, knit, purl. I told myself I needed to learn every step of making yarn before I could buy animals to support my habit.
Step 1: Learn to card and spin wool.
I decided to begin my wool-education at 1:00am this morning. Reading step by step directions online gave me spinning theory, but I had a strong need to put my learning into action. Ebay, I found, has many inexpensive supplies: drop spindles, roving. The problem at 1:00am is that I couldn’t get my hands on a spindle–even if I bought it that moment. Inspired by an article on how to make your own drop spindle (and by my obsession with wool), I ransacked my house for items that could substitute. Here’s what I found: a pencil, cardboard, and a screw-hook.
I jammed a pencil through a round-cut piece of cardboard, secured in place with two rubber-bands. I then tried to twist the screw-hook into the wooden bottom of the unsharpened pencil, which didn’t work, so I screwed the hook into the eraser instead. The directions on The Joy of Handspinning were the most helpful once I was ready to put my drop-spindle to work. They include short video clips demonstrating the written directions. This allowed me see what I needed to do to get spinning with my recycled contraption.
Since it was 1:00am when I began my project, I wasn’t able to get roving. So I opted to practice spinning two very thin yarns together. This was a wonderful way to get used to the feel of the drop spindle without having to struggle with roving.