Another newbie to spinning

Spinning is one of those things I said I didn’t want to try, but now I hear the muse calling…lol!!

I bought an inexpensive drop spindle at a wool festival and am trying it out. I have watched a bunch of the videos online, and I think I actually understand the drafting process and the way to let the twist run up the wool, but my problem is the spin on the spindle. I spin it, but it doesn’t go for very long, and then it starts to turn backwards. Is it not heavy enough? I think it is just a homemade one.

I did stop at a hardware store yesterday to see about buying a round piece of wood and a dowel, but they didn’t have the round piece (to make my own). I happen to be off (without children!) today, so I might take a run up to the yarn shop and see if they have spindles. I think it might be dangerous that I’ve moved to a town only 15 minutes away from the yarn shop!!!

So any advice would be great. I saw on another post a suggestion to ‘fluff up’ the roving, so I think I’ll try that to try to avoid my lumpy bits, but that spindle going backwards so soon after I spin it is driving me nuts.

Thanks in advance!!

I’m no big spindle expert but I did try spinning with one a couple of years ago and noticed the same thing as you just did. I just picked it up again and tried after successfully learning how to spin on a wheel. Much better this time. The difference was not paying attention to what the spindle was doing, just watching the twist in the wool itself. In other words, even if the spindle is slowing or even spinning back, the wool itself may be twisting up the right way because of the twist already in the single.

Also, the fluffing you refer to is called predrafting. Try doing that and you will have much more success. There are some great videos on You tube on how to do this.

I’ve only been spinning for 4 months, but it sounds like you either don’t have enough leader out for the amount of twist, or you are drafting too thickly for the weight of the spindle. When I first began spinning I did park and draft where you twist the spindle and allow twist to build up in the yarn already on the spindle then stop the spindle and hold it under your arm or between your legs and draft out more fiber and allow the twist to move up into it. I focused on doing this for a few days and without realizing it soon I was spinning without the park and draft. I still revert back to it if I’m working with a new fiber and have trouble drafting until I get the hang of it.
The best help I found was reading from beginning to end and watching her videos. She also has a book coming out called Respect the Spindle.
It does take persistance and time to get the hang of it, but I am hooked on spindle spinning and currentlly have no desire to move on to a wheel.
Ravelry has a number of spinning groups and I learned a lot from Beginning Spinners and the Spindlers groups especially.
Good luck and enjoy your new hobby.:slight_smile:

It does sound like your spindle is a bit light for the yarn you are trying to spin. I was able to find a cool ‘device’ at the hardware store to add a bit of weight. In the picture, take a look at the 2nd spindle from the left. Under the whorl is a picture of the ‘device’.
It slips on the spindle and has a rubber screw that you can tighten with an allen wrench. It keeps the spindle balanced and makes a spindle more versitile!

Thanks for the ideas. I am going to see if I can weight the spindle a bit, and I also have some other roving I’m going to try. (bought a kit to knit a scarf from roving at a wool festival last year, and I’m going to have some lovely roving left over from that - can’t wait to finish the scarf so I can try to spin the leftover!). I think the second roving won’t be quite so thick/heavy, so maybe that will make a difference.

Thanks for the advice, etc! I appreciate it.


I accept with informationIt slips on the spindle and has a rubber screw that you can tighten with an allen wrench. It keeps the spindle balanced and makes a spindle more versitile.