Argg! The agony of drop spindles

Okay, I studied the videos, I made a drop spindle, I went the my LYS and bought a bottom whorl drop spindle (just in case) and some roving. I now have little piles of slag everywhere in the house. Here are a couple of my frustrations that hopefully someone can clear up:

  1. Should you have a thinner piece of roving for thinner yarns or is it all about the pull? I am having trouble getting it to pull evenly i.e having a dependable draft zone. It seems like some of the staple is parallel and some of it isn’t (think of they way bricks are laid) so sometimes I am pulling from far up on the roving and sometimes it is really close-am I letting the twist travel up the roving and it just isn’t twisted enough to be obvious?

  2. my joins are really thick, what am I doing wrong?

  3. Just when I think I am getting it the stupid spindle unwinds the other way and drops to the floor, am I doing something wrong or do I just need to be more aware of when it starts to go the other direction?

  4. When I try to park and draft the twist just stays down really close to the spindle and over twists instead of traveling up-what gives?

WHY DO THEY MAKE IT LOOK SO EASY?! I am usually a crafting genius, I can watch a video and immediately start doing something. I learned to knit (and purl) evenly in about 10 minutes using the videos on this site. I just don’t understand why I am not getting this!

I have never had much luck with the drop spindle either. I have all the same difficulties you are having. Hopefully come one can help out the spindle-challenged spinners.

I can tell you that when I was using a drop spindle, I found it a lot easier to use thinner sections of roving and to pre-draft it.

I also use a whispier, thinner piece to join. You might need to let it twist some more and sometimes you can smoothe it out while it’s spinning if you don’t have too much fiber bunched up.

It’s been such a long time since I’ve used my spindle, I’m not sure if any of this is helpful. Just be patient with it, spinning does take practice. I took to knitting very quickly as well, but spinning came a lot harder.

Also, what kind of roving are you using? There are certain fibers that are a lot more difficult to learn on than others. Corridale and shetland are good starters.

Don’t know what kind of roving I am using, just a $6 bag I picked up at the LYS. Hey, I found my biggest problem, though. I ran across a website that said if you are right handed to hold the spindle in your right hand and draft with your left. I realized I was mirroring the Knitty Gritty video and holding the spindle in my left hand. It is actually a lot easier since I switched hands this morning. :happydance: I may just get the hang of this!

oh, I also went ahead and halved the roving lengthwise again and it is a lot easier. It was just too hard to make such a fat column pull thinly. I had already halved it once so I am using a quarter of the width and it is making about a worsted weight (I’m new to knitting so that may not be entirely accurate). It was an 8 oz bag, not 6 BTW.

I’ve never quite figured out why but I can’t stand drop spindles :thinking: I just drop them all the time. I use a Tahkli supported spindle & it spins like a dream. It’s small & great for short fibers cos it spins fast = more twist in less time. For longer fibers I spin it slower.
It goes everywhere with me.