A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Random Tip: Craftster is for freely sharing how to make things! Don't post pics of things you sell in hopes of getting some sales or we'll have to bust out the LIMBO stick on you! Wink
Total Members: 297,467
Currently Running With Scissors:
457 Guests and 7 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop


Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 14
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: Learn To Spin 2010: Source your tools  (Read 19588 times)
Tags for this thread: tutorial  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit add to Wists
1+
 
Jane Doe
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Offline Offline

Posts: 2531
Joined: 24-Dec-2004


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« on: January 16, 2010 09:11:48 PM »

Step 1: Source your tools

To get started, all you need is fiber, and a drop spindle
You can spin things other than fiber, but it's the best place to start.
These is a lot of specialist terminology in the world of fiber arts, and I'll try explain everything as we go. Please ask if anything is confusing or doesn't make sense.
We will help  Smiley

Drop spindle
Usually, a drop spindle looks like a short pole with a hook at the top, and a disk.. at the top or bottom. The disk is called a "whorl" and spindles can be either a "top whorl" or a "bottom whorl".

       Bottom whorl                Top Whorl

Wherever the whorl is, it still creates the same yarn. Just a different action to use them.

The size/weight of your spindle helps determine the thickness of your yarn
Tiny spindles are for thread-like thickness, large spindles are for larger thickness.
Both size extremes can be hard to use, so I'd stick with an average one to start with.

Buy one, or make your own!
Here are a few links to help you make your own
-with an old CD
http://danielson.laurentian.ca/qualityoflife/Fulltext/Textiles/Making_a_cd_drop_spindle.htm
http://www.instructables.com/id/Drop_Spindle_Constrution/
http://www.spindleandwheel.com/content/view/15/76/
-with cardboard & pencil in one vid, or wooden toy wheels in the other
http://www.joyofhandspinning.com/make-dropspin.shtml
http://www.ehow.com/how_5577157_make-yarn-spindles.html

Fiber
To spin you can use many different fibers, and they come in all types of different forms.
There is so much information on this topic, it's staggering.
So I'll try keep things simplified.

Buy clean, prepared, fleece.
It can be undyed (cheaper) but it must be clean

You can buy fiber in lots of different forms, ready for spinning.
Roving, Combed Top, Sliver, are slightly different but all look pretty similar.
Like a long tube of fiber. Good to spin with  Smiley
                  Colored                                                   Uncolored

Batts are flat and reactangle-ish, and can be sold rolled up or tied in a knot.
Also good to spin with  Smiley
                 Batt open                                           same Batt rolled up


To begin spinning, it's easier if you use a fiber with a long staple length.
(ie, the length of each individual fiber is long)
 :DBlue faced Leicester (BFL), Romney, Corriedale are very good wool breeds to begin with.
 :)Merino is harder to start with. It has a shorter staple length but you can learn with it.
 :-XPure Bamboo and silk are far too hard to start with. They're incredibly slippery, even to skilled spinners


Homework (I told you there'd be homework Wink )
This session is for learning about, and sourcing equipment.
I'll wait until a substantial amount of you have your tools before going to the next step.

  • Do a google image search on "drop spindle" and check out how many different types there are.
    There are many more than I mentioned here (such as the turkish spindle) but I want to keep things simple & easy to begin with.
  • Get a spindle
    These are instructions on making one above, or there are plenty of places to purchase online (etsy, fiber stores, ebay). Wood turners also create gorgeous ones.
  • Get a small amount of clean fiber.
    Undyed wool is cheaper, and you don't need very much to get started. (and you can always dye it with kool-aid later)
    50 grams or 1 ounce will be enough to see you through this tutorial series if you do each thing just once. But be warned - it is addictive and might be cheaper to buy more at once.

If you've found some good sources for materials, let us know!


Questions & Answers saved from this thread
1.) Top or Bottom whorl on my drop spindle?
Quote from: tar3820's drop spindle vendor
A bottom whorl has the whorl weight at the bottom of the shaft and spins slower which is good for heavier yarns which need less twist in them. A top whorl has the weight at the top of the shaft and spins faster which is good for thinner yarns and fine fibers such as angora, alpaca, etc. But, you can spin thin yarn & fine fibers on a bottom whorl but you have to spin it harder as well as you can spin heavier yarn on a top whorl but need to spin it slower. Sometimes, new spinners like the faster top whorl because it spins longer and gives more time to pull the fibers into the twist. I personally prefer a bottom whorl because I find it doesn't wobble as much since the weight is on the bottom. Basically, they both spin yarn the same way and it is a matter of preference.
On the top vs bottom discussion.... I learned to spin on a HEAVY bottom whorl spindle, but now I teach everyone on a top whorl. I find they have a little more 'control' or I guess I could say 'hand space.'  Grin I really prefer top spindles. You can also find top/bottom spindles that you can use as either so you can see what you like.
I'm the opposite of Jane.  I spin on a top whorl spindle.  I tried bottom but couldn't get the dang thing to stop wobbling.   Cheesy

2.) How much does it cost to make my drop spindle?
2 wood wheels $1.29, 20 dowels $.99, eye hooks $1.50(ish, lost the reciept) and some E6000 $2.50 (50% off coupons are great =D).

The break down for 2 spindles is like $1 each, and there's extra supplies for more if one breaks or I want to make more.

3.) Why is roving is cheaper than batts?
From what I've bought, roving is just one type of fiber (wool, BFL, merino, bamboo, etc) while a batt is many different fibers (plus things like sari silk, sheep locks, glitz, etc) combed together.
Yep - the mixture is part of the cost.
What also is different, is the amount of work gone in.
There is much more work involved in creating a batt than a dyed roving.

To sell roving, people buy a large amount of the white roving (in Australia, it's 20kgs at a time). The roving has been cleaned, carded, and prepared by machine. The seller then puts the wool into smaller batches and dyes the roving by hand.

To sell batts, people buy either white roving as above, or clean the fleece themselves by hand.
The wool is then dyed by hand.
Then the fibers are blended together using a drum carder (to create a batt)
The action of carding the fibers together can take a while aside from the designing time.

4.) How would you make a drop spindle from a toy wheel?
I just did this 3 days ago, it's really easy.

Go to the 'wood area' of a Jo-Ann's or Micheal's, look for wooden wheels, when I got mine it was 2 per package.  Then select a dowel that will fit in the middle of your wheel, as close as possible, you can buy one and cut it later to about 12" or you can buy a package of 20 already cut to 12", your choice.  Then go to the jewelry dept and find some eye hooks, they will have a threaded end.  If you don't have something like crazy glue or E6000, you'll need some of that too. 

1. Take your dowel and your wheel and check the fit, you may need to do some futzing here, I had to wrap some embroidery thread around my dowel to make the wheel fit better.  When you have your fit to your liking, your going to put your glue of choice on the thread and dowel, just make sure your thread area is good and coated and then slip on your wheel.  My wheel is about 2-2.5 inches from the end of the dowel.  Make sure it's as straight as possible then place the dowel over the edge of a vase or cup so that your wheel is suspended in the middle, then let it dry overnight. 

2.  The next day, take out one eye hook and with a pair of pliers carefully open the hook, make it look similar to a cup hook.  The screw it into the top of your new spindle.  You will need to trim away some of the thread from beneath your wheel, I used some cuticle scissors and an emory board to clean that up.

3.  Check your spindle and make sure it's not too rough, if you need to Curse me for not reminding you before hand about needing some sand paper, sand lightly til smooth or paint it, you choice.

PS. If you want a bottom whorl, on step 2 put your eye hook on the other end of the dowel.  Seeing as you get 2 wheels per package you can have both to try out. 

Here is the picture of mine, well truth be told it will be my sons spindle, he painted it Thomas the Train blue, and intends to paint a "1" on it to further the Thomas look.



« Last Edit: January 21, 2010 03:49:11 PM by Jane Doe » THIS ROCKS   Logged

SewMamaLady
Offline Offline

Posts: 1439
Joined: 10-Apr-2008

I heart handmade!!


View Profile available for personal swaps
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2010 12:02:42 AM »

I will be using my Annie May top whorl spindle that I got in STS:



Most likely, I will be using some of my Sheep Shed Studio roving. This is excellent beginner fiber! Check them out. It's been perfect for learning for me. People have debated whether or not the prices are great or not. They've been the cheapest for me to get large amounts of roving for the least amount of money, because shipping in the US is cheaper. Can't vouch for out of the country. The grab bags are just as fun (aren't always in roving form though). So roving is what we're going to want to use to learn on and as the link shows, they have whites, browns/whites and blacks/whites. Smiley Shipping has been relatively fast for me as well.

Good luck with finding your supplies and anyone feel free to PM me. I only have a bit less than a year under my belt, but I am more than willing to answer what I can or point you in the direction of someone/somewhere that you can get help from.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Homespun gifts for your friends and family!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/shallwespinmydear
Will be posting more items soon. Check back!
Jane Doe
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Offline Offline

Posts: 2531
Joined: 24-Dec-2004


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2010 04:36:35 AM »

In the interest of helping everyone to learn,
could all questions & answers be made in this thread.
That way we can all learn from each other's questions  Smiley

SewMamaLady - mine is also Annie May, but a bottom whorl. I think I'd like to try a top whorl though. Good link too! They say that their roving bags have a min length of 1 foot so that would be perfectly fine too.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

tar3820
Geek gone knitty
Offline Offline

Posts: 377
Joined: 03-Apr-2008

Drive from ocean to ocean. Then you'll understand.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2010 04:59:04 AM »

I got my spindle kit earlier in the week from Etsy before I even found this series. Here's the link for a "Spindle kit" search:
http://www.etsy.com/search_results.php?search_type=supplies&search_query=spindle+kit&ref=auto

There are several sellers that have kits ranging in price, though the cheapest I've found is 10$. I probably spent waaaaay too much time at work going through all the available kits, my price range seeming to go up with every click. I think what really got me in the end is the colorways and the ultimate question: Top or Bottom whorl. Dun dun dun.

I ended up ordering this kit (with a different colorway) http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=38579428 because I really fell in love with the fiber, and I couldn't decide which type of spindle. I figure when I decide which I prefer, my mom can have the other (she's always about 6 months behind me when I pick up a new craft). The kit also includes 1oz undyed for practice/learning and two instruction booklets. I probably could have gotten a similar kit for less, but like I said, I fell in love with the colors.

On the Top/Bottom debated, here's what the seller has to say:
Quote
A bottom whorl has the whorl weight at the bottom of the shaft and spins slower which is good for heavier yarns which need less twist in them. A top whorl has the weight at the top of the shaft and spins faster which is good for thinner yarns and fine fibers such as angora, alpaca, etc. But, you can spin thin yarn & fine fibers on a bottom whorl but you have to spin it harder as well as you can spin heavier yarn on a top whorl but need to spin it slower. Sometimes, new spinners like the faster top whorl because it spins longer and gives more time to pull the fibers into the twist. I personally prefer a bottom whorl because I find it doesn't wobble as much since the weight is on the bottom. Basically, they both spin yarn the same way and it is a matter of preference.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Just your average knitting whore.
Think Crafty Thoughts
Jane Doe
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Offline Offline

Posts: 2531
Joined: 24-Dec-2004


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010 05:07:24 AM »

Thanks for the quote from your spindle supplier - I'll pop it in the Q&A in the first thread
I'm hoping the Q&A section, is more a place to collect the information & ideas raised throughout the thread.
Good idea to try both to see your preference.
I've only ever tried a bottom whorl, but I'm so curious about top whorl.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

laminathegreat
Queen of the Universe
Offline Offline

Posts: 674
Joined: 11-Mar-2006

Is not here.


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010 06:32:53 AM »

On the top vs bottom discussion.... I learned to spin on a HEAVY bottom whorl spindle, but now I teach everyone on a top whorl. I find they have a little more 'control' or I guess I could say 'hand space.'  Grin I really prefer top spindles. You can also find top/bottom spindles that you can use as either so you can see what you like.
Also, if you can get your hands on a kit with more than one type of fiber (colored, batt, white) you will be in better shape. I've met people who had a really hard time learning to spin with the white roving but took off with the colored roving. I think they couldn't see what was going on with all that white.
(an normally, I have kits like this in my etsy shop, but I'm in the middle of trying to find a place to live/move so I really don't have anything!)
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Kurtzie
Kurtzie
Offline Offline

Posts: 890
Joined: 09-Jan-2007

kitty feet


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2010 06:47:51 AM »

i got a top drop spindle and some alpaca fiber before christmas http://www.etsy.com/shop/bhmalpacas this is a similer package from the same seller http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=38679520 it just says fiber and not a batt. Will I have to do additional prep work? should I find a batt to start with?
THIS ROCKS   Logged

I love personal swaps, PM me!

My ETSY! Including Hooker on the Go Keychains!
http://LittleGemsbyKari.etsy.com
Chicory
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2010 07:18:56 AM »

ack! I just went to get my spindle and see if it was top or bottom whorl and I can't find it! It, and the beautiful roving I was trying to spin are missing from my craft corner.  All my felting roving is there...

gah, last I remember I was carrying it around in a bag hoping that I would learn by osmosis, I guess.  Hopefully I can find the bag today or tomorrow, and if not I guess I'll be making a spindle out of an old cd.  Sigh.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

"I will hold my awkward bowl
with all its cracked stars shining
like a complicated lie,
and fashion a new skin around it,
as if I were dressing an orange,
or a strange sun..." -- Ann Sexton
shortern
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2010 11:11:14 AM »

From my own experience, the uncolored rovings are the easiest to learn on. After only a few attempts with roving, I tried spinning from a batt, which didn't turn out too well (it came out really thick and uneven, and I wasn't very pleased with it Sad ).
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Looking for extra sock yarn! PM me if you have any you'd like to get rid of! Willing to swap for it!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://blacksquirrelknits.blogspot.com/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My Etsy Shop: http://www.blacksquirrelknits.etsy.com
My Wist: http://wists.com/shortern06
Shortern on Ravelry.
something_wierd
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.
Offline Offline

Posts: 1248
Joined: 15-Jun-2005

I like pointy things.


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2010 11:27:14 AM »

I'm the opposite of Jane.  I spin on a top whorl spindle.  I tried bottom but couldn't get the dang thing to stop wobbling.   Cheesy  I made my spindle with a toy wheel, dowel, and eye hook.  Sorry about the phone pics.


close-up of the hook


I can spin pretty fine singles with her.


The yarn on the spindle is Sheep Shed Studio mill ends dyed with Wilton icing colors. 

Roughly 2 years later, and I am still spinning on this.  Sure, there are lots of really pretty spindles out there, but so far, this thing is my favorite.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Polymer Clay Challenge #2 has a winner, RobbinZombie!  her entry was The Kraken  She will receive a prize from Persephone Rose!
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 14 Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
 
Jump to:  



FacebookTwitterPinterest
only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search



your ad could be here!

How-To Videos
How to Make Coconut Cream Pie
How to Make White Frosting
How to Make Grown-Up Jellied Desserts
Hummingbird Cake Recipe
How to Make a Bunny Cake
Latest Blog Articles
Tute Tuesday: Sandwich Wrap
Falling Leaves
Meatless Monday: Provencal Inspired Quiche

Comparison Shopping




Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies
Comparison Shopping

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...
Moderators

Follow Craftster...






Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2014, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.