Another place to check out is Detta’s Spindle. Years ago I bought a drop spindle kit from her that had a spindle, fiber, and beginner spindle-spinning video. I see on her website she still has the video and has some spindles, but I didn’t see if she had any combo-kits, but she’s a wonderful gal and I’m sure she would be happy to help you decide which fiber, video, and/or spindle would be best for you.
You also can make your own by using a wooden wheel for toys like you can get in a hobby or craft store, find a dowel that fits the hole in the center, cut the dowel to whatever length you want, 12-15" is good, place the wheel 1-2" from the end and glue in place, screw a cup hook into the end of the dowel, either end depending whether you want a top or bottom-whorl spindle… You’ll buy the wheels in pairs anyway and the dowel in a 3-foot length, so make one of each, then you can try each of them.
You’ll love spindle spinning. I started on a wheel and eventually tried spindle spinning without ever having seen anyone do it. I basically taught myself, but after I while I was thinking “there must be more to it than this,” and so I ordered the kit from Detta and the video helped a little, but I found that there really wasn’t “more to it” than what I was doing. Spinning is just twisting the fibers into a yarn, whether you do it on a drop spindle or stick or wheel.
I eventually signed up for a handspindle class at the Estes Park Wool Market several years ago, again thinking that there “still must be more to spinning on a drop spindle,” and again, still found out that I was pretty much doing all I need to do to spin… it’s really a very simple and easy concept… it just takes a little time to catch on to it.
But other than the spinning part being exactly what I had already figured out for myself, I did find out that there is indeed “a lot more to it!” After that class I grew to appreciate the history of spinning on the drop spindle, the types of spindles, the variety of spindles and what they all can be used for, etc. But most of all, I fell in love with spindling… be it a drop spindle, a supported spindle, Navajo spindle, a stick I pick up somewhere, whatever!
Every time I pick up a spindle and some fiber I marvel at the simplicity of it and how it works and how I can produce such a wonderful yarn with just my two hands, a little fiber, and such a simple tool!
There is a lot more to spindle spinning than I ever imagined, but it’s more in the heart and the mind and the why, rather than the how.
I hope you find spindle spinning to be as enjoyable and the best advice I can give you is to not give up… it takes practice at first. If you can find a local spinning/fiber shop or spinning group where you can get a demonstration that would help a lot… or get a video, there are several out there. Check out videos on the internet, I’m sure there are some out there.
I was self taught on the spindle, but learned first on a wheel, so my learning curve wasn’t too bad… but I’ve taught a lot of people to spin on a drop spindle and many were producing a decent yarn in less than an hour… some in as little as 15 minutes…some took a bit longer, and some took quite a bit longer…, but they all learned… so you can do it too.
Can you tell I’m a little passionate about spindle spinning?!! :woohoo:
Good luck and let us know what you decide and how you like it!