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I have always wanted to spin my own yarn.  I was taught to knit by my Korean great grandmother when I was five, on chopsticks, and fell in love with it.  As with the seasons, I also wax and wan on projects, such as right now, in lovely Vermont, with the severe thunderstorms and heavy humidity...really, who wants to knit?!  I have two antique spinning wheels, but I first want to learn the drop spindle technique.  Does anyone have suggestions on to what materials I will need?  I have plenty of roving, but that's about it.  Any books better than the other?  My hands are just itching to try and learn this!!!  Also, how hard is it to make drop spindles?  I love woodworking and have a lathe, so there's another idea...
I can't wait to show you all my first completed project, of course with lots of pictures!
Cheers!
paula

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Replies to This Discussion

I watched a lot of you tube videos. I wish I had a lath I would make more bobbins for my spinning wheel. I have problems using my arms over my head so i started on my wheel. I have a great book The care and feeding of your Spinning Wheel. It shows all kinds of old wheels and how to repair them or just getting them working. My wheel really has to be well oiled and then it works like a charm. If you have any problems getting your wheel going I am happy to look for answers in this book.
Paula, I made a simple spindle from a 3/8" dowel, a wooden wheel for making children's toys and a cup hook. We have been looking for a lathe to purchase. My DH really would love to add one to his woodworking machines. Of course, I want one for making whorls.

I think Abby Franquemont's DVD and book Respect the Spindle are a good place to start. There are lots of videos on YouTube. In fact there are some Abby Franquemont videos there.

Once you decide on a spindle, play with your fiber a little. Then set an amount of time [15 minutes or so] each day for practicing. It takes time but it will come. Best of luck!
Cheryl, I checked out all of Abby's videos on youtube and it's really fueling my excitement about getting started! LOL
I can't say it enough, she really is terrific.
Respect the Spindle is a great video/book. Look for other spinners locally. Check for spinning groups in your area. Yarn shops often offer classes and may be able to offer names of people who spin that can help. Also, the local and state fairs often have artisans that demonstrate spinning. That would be a good place to make contacts. I even read on another thread somewhere to check Ravelry. They have formed groups from different areas. Who knows, you may even turn up a neighbor who spins. YouTube was also a wonderful suggestion. I use it all the time. And as Cheryl suggested, you will learn the most from just spinning. Practice, practice, practice.
Cheryl set up a discussion here for those of us who have a spinning library to talk about books and DVDs. I learned a lot from YouTube and from watching spinners with more experience. The most important thing is to practice. Do a little every day, and don't get discouraged! It will come!
We were all baby spinners at one time... I have found on line videos very helpful, and several books, too. Biggest thing is that once you get started, practice on a regular basis... that will help more than you can imagine.
True! Practice helped me more than anything!
Practice, practice, practice. I mean Michelangelo practiced, Stevie Wondered practiced, Picasso practiced, Yo-Yo Ma practiced, Beethoven practiced.
I think Yoyo Ma still practices! I've said this before, but not here. The one thing that helped me more than anything else was spinning a little bit of fiber every day. I took a six-week spinning class, and our homework was to tear off a certain amount of fiber every day and spin it. By the second week I was enjoying it and wanting to spin more. That was with a drop spindle, which for me was harder than the wheel. A lot of the class was fiber prep: combing, carding, skirting, washing, dyeing, etc. The last two sessions were wheel maintenance and Navajo plying. It was a great course, but nothing helped me spin as much as the homework!
But how nice that you had all that experience with fiber prep.
I think I'd rather spin than skirt a fleece, but if I had to skirt in order to spin, I could do it.

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