The history of spinning is vast, and spans thousands of years along with dozens of iterations of spinning tools. From sticks and rocks, to wheels and mills; where there has been a need for yarn, there has been a way to spin it. In , Schacht Spindle company started with a humble drop spindle.
Because one way or another, it's all about yarn.
Some spinners prefer spindles while others prefer wheels, and even within those groups, people prefer one tool over another. At Schacht, we make drop spindles , tahkli spindles , and Navajo spindles , however there are other varieties such as Turkish spindles, kick-spindles, and other types of supported spindles. Wheels also come in all shapes and sizes, each of them good for specific styles of spinning. We produce 3 castle-style wheels; Ladybug , Sidekick , and Matchless wheels where the orifice is oriented directly in front of the spinner and 2 Saxony style wheels; Schacht-Reeves and Flatiron wheels where the orifice is slightly off to the left or right of the spinner.
Essential Free Guide on How to Make Yarn
We recommend taking spinning classes at a shop where you can learn the basics, and try all different types of spindles and wheels to find out what you like to spin on. First and foremost, you want a balanced drop spindle that spins true. The other factor that is important is weight; lighter spindles allow for finer spinning, while heavier spindles are good for thicker spinning.
Some people have a preference over bottom versus top whorl, however, our Hi-Lo drop spindles can be used as either!
It begins with preparing the fiber, usually wool for beginners, to ensure a pleasant spinning experience. Fibers like BFL, merino, and even targhee are great begginning fibers to use. This entails placing your hands at just about a staple length apart, and pulling gently to separate the fibers. You move your hands along the length of the fiber until it has been all pre-drafted.
Start Spinning by Maggie Casey
Push your spinning skills to new heights and get adventurous with textured yarn. The art of spinning is growing in popularity as knitters, new and experienced, want to make their own yarn.
All it takes is some fluff, a spindle or wheel, and a little practice! The primary joy of spinning for many of us is in the act itself. But there is also great pleasure and satisfaction in taking the yarns we create to their conclusion in well-designed, well-made fabrics. Spinning yarn skillfully and intentionally involves many variables — the particular material at hand, the mechanics of the spinning device, the intended use of the yarn, physical attributes of the spinner, some would even argue phases of the moon.
Picking a Drop Spindle
The Saxony wheel is the most popular style of wheel for beginners, while the Great Wheel is generating new interest from advanced handspinners. Choosing a good fleece for handspinning can be tricky for a beginner. Many breeders are willing to sell you their fleeces, in some cases, even give it away.
But not all fleeces are suitable for handspinning, and you may lose your enthusiasm for handspinning raw fleece if your first fleece is a bad one. Angora rabbits are relatively easy to care for. Keeping them well groomed is the biggest chore in order to maintain a coat of fur that is matt-free and clean.
Start Spinning: Everything You Need to Know to Make Great Yarn by Maggie Casey (Paperback, 2008)
Although, I have found that my German angoras require less grooming, which is why they are my favorite breed. Using a drum carder is another way of preparing your fiber for spinning. Its more efficient than hand-carding, allowing you to card larger amounts at one time. It is best to use fleece that has been pre-washed, because it cards easier and puts less wear on the machine.
The drum carder can also be used for making fiber blends and working with colored fibers. Photo courtesy of Louet N.
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