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 Spinner Central
 Just Getting Started - Beginning to Spin
 Should I start with a hand spindle?
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Knittacia
New Pal

Norway
34 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  06:09:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit Knittacia's Homepage Send Knittacia a Private Message
I would like to try out spinning my own yarn, but I am not sure of where to start. So far I have ordered some books form Amazon about spinning, and they should be here in a week or two. At first I was thinking Spinning wheels, but they are expensive and not so easy to buy where I live. Then I have done some googling and read a lot about drop spindles.

So I was thinking - should I start with a hand spindle,
and then try out spinning wheels later?

What worries me is that my neck and arms will be aceing. How is using a drop spindle compared to a wheel?

jaymeKnits
Permanent Resident

USA
1353 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  07:22:27 AM  Show Profile  Send jaymeKnits a Yahoo! Message Send jaymeKnits a Private Message
Drop spindles are definately the cheapest way to experiment with spinning on your own. A drop spindle is much slower and can take a bit more coordination than a wheel (some people say it takes 3 hands, others have no problems at all). Spin Off has a free article on their web page that can show you how to get started with your spindle. The next step is to try wheels, even if you didn't really like the spindle since they are very different. Try to go to a wool festival or take a trip to a store that sells many types and try as many as you can find.

Good luck and have fun,

Jayme
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MoonKnitter
Chatty Knitter

USA
247 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  07:50:54 AM  Show Profile Send MoonKnitter a Private Message
I chose to try a drop spindle before taking a spinning class. Although I really didn't like using the drop spindle, it really helped me once I was put in front of the wheel. I was already familiar with drafting the fibers so I was able to concentrate on learning the wheel a little better. Give it a try, but just remember that the two are very different and not liking one may not mean you dislike spinning altogether.

As a side note, I bought a drop spindle kit with a variety of fibers from www.inspirationsyarn.com. The owner is a KR member and the customer service is terrific!
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kknitter
Gabber Extraordinaire

407 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  07:59:05 AM  Show Profile Send kknitter a Private Message
I tried a drop spindle and didn't like it at all. It ALMOST made me reconsider my desire to buy a wheel. Glad I didn't listen to myself...
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pjkite
Permanent Resident

1198 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  08:38:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit pjkite's Homepage  Send pjkite a Yahoo! Message Send pjkite a Private Message
Knittacia, you've already found that there are different opinions on this. I started with a bottom-shorl drop spindle, couldn't get it, and then moved to a friend's top-whorl and found spindling easy on that. I had a learning curve on my first wheel, because it moved faster than my spindle. Now I use whatever I choose with ease - a drop spindle for portable spinning and one of my three wheels for producing larger amounts of yarn in larger blocks of time. But everyone is different - I've had students who could not spindle until they'd learned on a wheel, and others who couldn't learn on a wheel until they'd learned to drop spindle.

If it matters, I produce about as much yarn per week by spindling as I do with my spinning wheel, and suspect that I'm not alone. The spindle is slower, but I can spin anywhere; the wheel produces more yardage in less time, but must be used in one place.

As for aching arms and shoulders, I haven't had any problems, and have arthritis that acts up if I misbehave. Use the normal common-sense rules of thumb for repetitive motions - frequent breaks and stretching. Come to think of it, I have less problems with spindling than I do with wheel spinning, perhaps because spindling requires so many different movements!

If you want to play ahead of the delivery of your books, try making your own CD spindle - directions are on the web at http://www.interweave.com/spin/resources.asp You'll also need some fiber, but if nothing else is at hand try lopi or other unspun roving yarn - it's easy to use to get started.

Pamela Kite
East Tennessee
http://fiberlife.blogspot.com/

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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  09:08:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
The Cliff's Notes version of this thread is that if you don't like drop spinnning after you've given it a fair chance, don't let that make you think that you shouldn't attempt wheel spinning. I can't drop-spin worth spit. Jayme tells me my wheel spinning is lovely. I pay her a lot for this.

Lissa

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. -- George Orwell


Oh, and I now have a blog:http://knittnlissa.typepad.com/knittnlissa/
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Mike
Seriously Hooked

649 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  12:27:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike's Homepage Send Mike a Private Message
Yep, give spindling a shot. It took me a while to get it but I told myself I would do it before I got a wheel. I know that they are two different beasts now but I really enjoy them both.

Mike
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Ivynforestsmom
Gabber Extraordinaire

465 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  1:06:18 PM  Show Profile Send Ivynforestsmom a Private Message
I got my Woolery catalog in the mail last week and Mother Marion's Kick Spindle caught my eye.
http://www.woolery.com/Pages/dropspinfr.html#mother
I've never seen one in use, but it seems like it sure would have made my spindling adventures more successful. You spin the spindle with your foot and your hands are free to figure out what to do with the fiber. Has anyone used one?

Yvonne
"Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been."-Mark Twain
http://ybrach.photosite.com/
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Momma78239
Permanent Resident

USA
4859 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  1:28:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Momma78239's Homepage  Send Momma78239 a Yahoo! Message Send Momma78239 a Private Message
Try the spindle first - that way you can at least give it a go BEFORE you mortgage a child to pay for a wheel. And if you hate it, you're not out much.

-WendyM
And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. Exodus 35:25
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HellaHelen
Chatty Knitter

USA
344 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  2:04:26 PM  Show Profile Send HellaHelen a Private Message
On a related note, does anyone know of a decent video (online or on tape or DVD) with basic spinning instructions & demonstrations? I tried to teach myself to spin from a book, but I couldn't figure it out, and I'm usually such a book-learner.

Helen
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Momma78239
Permanent Resident

USA
4859 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  2:21:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Momma78239's Homepage  Send Momma78239 a Yahoo! Message Send Momma78239 a Private Message
Try http://www.icanspin.com/

-WendyM
And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. Exodus 35:25
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spindyerella
Seriously Hooked

601 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  2:56:55 PM  Show Profile Send spindyerella a Private Message
I hated the drop spindle but love the wheel. I spin fairly well, too.
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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  4:10:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
Patsy Z's videos are particulary helpful, in my opinion. I know that Schoolhouse Press carries them; I'll be that places like the Woolery and Woodland Woolworks carry it too.

Lissa

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a
revolutionary act. -- George Orwell


Oh, and I now have a blog:http://knittnlissa.typepad.com/knittnlissa/
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truly violet
Permanent Resident

6398 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  4:39:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit truly violet's Homepage Send truly violet a Private Message
I learned on a golding drop spindle.....( how is THAT for going first class !)

then learned to wheel spin on a lendrum

I made my own spindles and still spin on them......

I can borrow any number of wheels

but won't due to thaddeaus peabody the cat who thinks he is a dog and chews EVERYTHING

Wheels are faster, spindles portable.

I taught the lady that did my Carotid artery scan to spin using a drop spindle and some border leichester in the doctor's waiting room.

maybe go somewhere like the mannings or one of the fiber festivals and try both.....
see what you prefer?

vi


none of this will matter in 100 years.......
except I will finally be at my goal weight...vi
http://notashyviolet.blogspot.com/ ~now with chickens!
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Andy
Seriously Hooked

USA
774 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  10:37:57 PM  Show Profile Send Andy a Private Message
I actually like the feel of spindling better than wheel-spinning, more active and it feels like dance. My yarn is superior on the spindle, due no doubt to the reduced amount per hour produced compared to the wheel.

Give Coleridge credit for saying that people most often err in what they condemn and are nearest the truth in what they allow.
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shuvani11/
Andy-wommon
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2005 :  05:51:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Melba Montgomery's video on spinning with a drop spindle (available on Amazon and at lots of fiber selling web sites)is very good. It's how I learned - at about one second before I decided that I could never learn to spin.

Should you start with a drop spindle? That automatically puts the answerer into the Fiber Prison Guard category. I can only say I am glad I started with a spindle, but I could have started with a wheel too. I didn't know, for sure, if I would like spinning, though - and was reluctant to drop much money into something I might not like doing. So I was glad to start on the cheap - $15, I believe, is what I spent on the kit, and a week later, another $15 on the video.

Now? Ahhh. I absolutely love my spindles. I absolutely love my wheels.

Bess
http://likethequeen.blogspot.com
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Andy
Seriously Hooked

USA
774 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2005 :  09:51:29 AM  Show Profile Send Andy a Private Message
Just remember, even the most coordinated and agile person feels like a perfect idiot for the first few hours of spindling! Can you take that? Then you can learn it and it is great fun!

Give Coleridge credit for saying that people most often err in what they condemn and are nearest the truth in what they allow.
http://www.livejournal.com/users/shuvani11/
Andy-wommon
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KCShaw
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
393 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2005 :  10:59:37 AM  Show Profile Send KCShaw a Private Message
IM brand new to spinning. I have a wheel i inherited some years ago, that appears to be in great condition except for the foot part. Ill take a picture and maybe I can get some help later with that. I just bought a set of 2 spindles. I have no clue what I should have, but i figured I just jump in. I initially thought that learning on a spindle would be the best thing, but Im leaning tog etting my wheel going too, after reading your guys threads and advice.

I got some beautiful rovong from a fiber site that made some lovely suggestions..One thing for sure, its fun to snif and cuddle...so spinning already has had some rewards!
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Lanthir
Warming Up

USA
54 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2005 :  11:41:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanthir's Homepage Send Lanthir a Private Message
Yes, you should definitely try a spindle first. Not everyone likes it, but it's worth trying, and you'll be glad of the experience whe you start with a wheel.
I've had a whel for a few months now, and I still adore my spindle.

"And we shall call it 'This Land'"
Firefly
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pixiepurls
Gabber Extraordinaire

373 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2005 :  07:45:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit pixiepurls's Homepage Send pixiepurls a Private Message
I hated the drop spindle, and hated it even more after taking a class on a wheel lol! But do try it, lots of people love it. I think they are all nuts :) lol j/k!

http://www.pixiepurls.com
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RobA
Permanent Resident

2373 Posts

Posted - 12/14/2005 :  09:17:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit RobA's Homepage Send RobA a Private Message
I am a new spinner. I started with a wheel, borrowed and then purchased form a friend, and ignored the possibility of learning to use a spindle. By the third day of learning on the wheel (slow progress, but progess) I suddenly REALLY wanted to try a spindle. I got the Babe spindle, since you can set it up as a top or bottom whorl, and at two different weights. To my surprise, I love it as much as I like the wheel. I also found it helped me figure out drafting and so my wheel spinning has improved. I just ordered a Kokovoko spindle. I still don't get wanting more than one spinning wheel (though I do want lots and lots of bobbins for the one I have), but I definitely see the point of lots of spindles!

Rob http://roberta.typepad.com/robknits/
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