Posts in Spinning
How To Spin Yarn: Six Simple Steps
Loom & Spindle - Spinning Your First Yarns

Last week I launched the first Learn to Spin Kit for Loom & Spindle. I shared my journey on learning how to spin yarn (HEREand some of the frustrations I experienced.

Part of these early frustrations were the result of not having a clear method for spinning yarn on a drop spindle, and not fully understanding how each action influenced the yarn I was spinning.

Over time one key insight emerged, I found it much easier to regulate the yarn I was producing when I had an understanding of the process and mechanics of making yarn.

The resulting method I developed for the Loom & Spindle Learn to Spin Kit builds on this by teaching you the sequence for spinning yarn on a drop spindle, and importantly explaining how each action can be used to control the process of forming a yarn - giving you confidence through understanding!

I’ve shared my method on how to spin yarn on a drop spindle below and included a FREE ‘take-home’ copy for you to download. You’ll find the link at the end of the post.

Good luck!

PS: Remember, your first yarns might not be exactly what you envisioned, but they will be your most important lessons.


How To Spin Yarn: Six Simple Steps


Step 1

Draft a small amount of fibre and loop it under the spindle’s hook. 
Using your thumb and index finger, PINCH together the pre-drafted end and main fibre supply.

Loom & Spindle - Spinning your First yarns

Step 2

Spin the spindle storing TWIST in the length of fibre between the hook and your fingertips.
PARK the spindle.

Loom & Spindle - Spinning Your First Yarns

Step 3

With two hands, DRAFT from the fibre supply using your thumbs and index fingers. Carefully allow twist to enter the newly drafted fibre.
When the twist energy reduces, pinch the fibres and stop any further twist entering the fibre supply.

Loom & Spindle - Spinning Your First Yarns

Step 4

Repeat steps two and three until the length of yarn is no longer comfortable to manage.

Loom & Spindle - Spinning Your First Yarns

Step 5

Remove the yarn from the hook and wind it around the shaft of the spindle, leave enough length to wrap the yarn over the whorl and under the hook.

Loom & Spindle - Spinning Your First Yarns

Step 6

Repeat the PINCH-TWIST-PARK-DRAFT sequence for the remaining fibre supply.
As the yarn forms, you will need to monitor the fibre carefully for your intended characteristics –Yarn weight, optimal twist, etc.


THE PINCH-TWIST-PARK-DRAFT SEQUENCE


PINCH – The action of locking the fibres between your fingers to hold the twist energy back from the fibre supply.

TWIST – The energy added to the fibre when the you turn or spin the spindle. The twist holds the fibres together in the forming the yarn.

PARK – Refers to the action of setting down and securing the spindle so you have both hands free to draft the fibre. Suggestions for parking the spindle include holding the shaft of the spindle under your arm or between your knees.

DRAFT – This is the process of thinning the fibre supply by drawing fibres apart lengthwise. A suggestion for beginner spinners is to use two hands to draft the fibre. The hand closest to the spindle controls the amount of twist that enters the fibre supply. The other hand controls the draft, how much fibre is drawn out of the fibre supply.

Loom & Spindle - How to spin yarn

REATTACHING THE FIBRE SUPPLy

Loom & Spindle - How to Spin Yarn - Reattaching the Fibre Supply

It’s likely at some stage during the spin you’ll need to reattach the fibre supply to the forming yarn. This can be challenging at first but with practice you’ll gain confidence.

To reattach the fibre, begin by untwisting the last bit of spun fibre. Pinch behind the unspun end so the twist can’t re-enter the fibre. Add any extra twist to the length of yarn behind your pinching fingers. This extra twist will be needed to reattach the fibre supply.

Place the drafting end of the fibre supply onto unspun end. Pinch the two ends together and gently draw back the fibre supply. Allow the twist to enter the drafting zone, locking the unspun end and fibre supply together.


THANKs FOR READING!


This method is also available as a neat little PDF package.
Click the button below and get your FREE copy!

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SAMPLE

Share your work, #loomandspindle

SHOP LOOM & SPINDLE

NEW: The complete kit for spinning your first yarns

My Journey to intentional and confident crafting

Crafting with yarn and fabric has always been a part of my life. Though it wasn’t until 2013, when I took time out for myself and my new-born, that I started getting serious about the crafts I was most passionate about.

While experimenting with knitting and weaving and exploring various fibres, I stumbled across the craft of hand-spinning my own yarns. Being someone who naturally desires to know how EVERYTHING works, I was eager to give it a go.

Though navigating this new world of hand-spinning was more difficult than I’d anticipated.

I knew I didn’t want to spend a lot of money just to try it and find out I didn’t like it. And without knowing where to start I lacked confidence in making those first decisions – spindle or wheel, raw fleece or prepped fibre… the list could go on.

When I did finally make these choices and got my first spindle and supply of fibre, my first hand-spun yarns were dense and lacked consistency. This in its self is not unusual for a beginner spinner and these early lumpy bumpy yarns are part of the learning process.

Though, without knowing how to evaluate my yarns and where to make improvements in my next spin I was seeing little progress.

I became frustrated…

… but still determined! 

I set out to learn as much as I could. I gathered books, watched videos, read magazines, and listened in to the various online forums. I attempted to distil all this information, applying the elements that I thought might help me.

With time this effort paid off, I learnt the mechanics of fibre and twist, the importance of preparation and finishing techniques, and the tools I could use to measure and evaluate my yarns.

These insights provided the necessary framework to intentionally plan and spin yarns, evaluating my progress with each experiment. With practice, I was seeing improvements in my technique and more consistency in my spun yarns. I was planning and spinning yarns for specific projects. I was finally starting to see the results I was after.

I was spinning with intention. I was spinning with confidence.

And most of all, being a diehard maker of all things, I was getting great personal satisfaction to see my fibre-to-finished projects finally come to life.


ON Designing the KIT


I’ve since documented and refined this four-year journey to create the first Learn to Spin Kit for Loom & Spindle – The complete kit for spinning your first yarns.

In addition to the necessary inclusions of a spinning kit, a drop spindle and a 100% Aussie grown and processed fibre supply, I’ve carefully put together a series of notes and tools to introduce you to the language and mechanics of spinning your first yarns. This includes:

  • A simplified method for spinning your first yarns, highlighting the four easy-to-remember action steps: PINCH-TWIST-PARK-DRAFT.

  • Guidance on how to prepare for a spin, for a more enjoyable spinning experience. And,

  • An introduction to the language of spinning and tools you can use to measure and evaluate your yarns for more intentional spinning.

By offering this kit my hope is that I can provide you with a new opportunity to be creative with yarn and fibre, and extend your passion for making.


The complete kit for spinning your first yarns

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Loom & Spindle Spin Kit wool
Loom & Spindle Spin Kit Inclusions
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