When I say I’m new to spinning, I mean it quite literally. I just woke up one morning and thought, “You know what would be awesome? spinning my own yarn!” Because apparently I’m a huge nerd.
I have a 9 month old with outrageously fast and grabby hands, so I wanted something compact. The most compact of spinning wheels is not currently within the realm of my pocket book. So, as usual, I figured out a way to rig up my own drop spindles on the cheap.
If you’re a YouTuber at all, check out dirtpatcheaven– she has an amazing vlog and I have learned so much in so little time of binge-watching all of her videos! Seriously, anything you ever wanted to know about beginning spinning. I learned so much. I cannot brag on her channel enough! Anyway, so as I was watching her videos, I decided making my own drop spindles was absolutely the way to go until I figured out if 1) I was any good at spinning 2) I enjoyed spending time doing it 3) I wanted to invest further into a spinning wheel.
I got all the supplies at hobbylobby.com. After shipping, I think I spent a total of $17 and change for enough supplies to make about 10-11 spindles.
Math: $17 ÷ 11 spindles = about $1.54 per spindle .
I wanted to experiment with top vs. bottom whorls and see which worked best for which type of fiber.
I practiced spinning initially with *braces for internet judgment* my border collie’s brushed out fiber. Weird, right? …Yeah… it’s weird… but I’m okay with it. it made a pretty gray yarn with white and black streaking through it. It’s not very soft and has a pretty spiky halo, but it got me used to spinning.
I used the park and draft method- and will continue to do so until I can perfect my craft- to spin this yarn. It’s just single ply, but with as often as I have to brush my fur-babies, I imagine I would have plenty more fiber if I wanted to ply it. Now that we added Maggie to our family, I should have some angora fiber to spin up in a couple months.
I really am happy with the way they turned out. I cut a notch in the side of the wheel so that it would catch and hold the yarn for me instead of it slipping around. A few things that could be improved upon:
1.) The dowels are 1/4 inch. and the holes of the toy wheels are 1/4 inch. I had to sand the dowel a little to make it fit into the hole- which, if I could do over, I would’ve just gotten a larger wheel or drilled a hole into a wooden coaster. BUT- that said, I didn’t have to use any glue to hold the wheel to the dowel, because it just fit snugly.
2.) The wheels are not very large, so the amount of yarn I can spin at once is limited to what will fit on the 1-1/2 inch circumference wheel.
3) The hooks I got are awesome and I like them, but I split the end of the dowel as I was screwing it in because I got a little over ambitious. Easy does it.
4.) They are super light weight. This is great for a top whorl for angora fiber, but for anything with more weight, I think I would prefer a bottom whorl and probably for it to also be a little heavier so that I don’t have to constantly worry about back spin.
So there you go. Pretty simple. I realize for someone who has never done any of this before, there are a lot of words and terms with which I was unfamiliar so I’ll get up another post with all of them defined and explained ASAP.