Adventures in spinning with drop spindles

Last summer, in the middle of the pandemic, I got reacquainted with spinning yarn on drop spindles. I once had a wheel, but I sold it because I wasn’t able to use it very much while my kids were babies, and we don’t have a lot of space. I had never really gotten the hang of spinning on a drop spindle in the past, but last summer I finally did it! I bought a copy of Abby Franquemont’s Respect the Spindle and read through it, then I practiced, practiced, and practiced. I spent time using the park and draft method, and before long, I was able to start rolling the spindle along my leg to get it started spinning, and then draft the wool as the spindle fell toward the ground.

As I’ve heard is common, I pretty quickly developed a “default” yarn style and thickness as I spun. I find it easiest to spin a pretty thin single now, and have to consciously spin thicker if I’m attempting to make a thicker yarn. So far I’ve been fine with just spinning all of my yarn pretty much the same way, because I just find it satisfying to get into the rhythm of spinning. Maybe someday I’ll set out with the goal of knitting a certain kind of yarn, but for now I’m just going to keep practicing and enjoying the spinning.

One of the nice things about spindle spinning is how portable it is. It’s easy to spin a little bit while the kids are playing, and set it down when they interrupt me (which is frequently). My favorite thing to do is sit on our deck in back and spin in the morning when it’s still cool outside. In fact, I just love spinning outside in general.

Here’s a little sample of yarn that I’ve spun in the last year: