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DIY Drop Spindle

Recently, I’ve been really interested in the idea of handspinning and dying my own yarn. I spent a huge chunk of my afternoon last week Googling the basics of handspinning. I learned about different types of spindles, where to get fiber, how to prepare your fiber, and finally how to actually spin it. It seems like it would be a lot of fun to learn so I’ve decided to give it a shot!

Knowing that I would need a spindle first, I did a quick search on Google for DIY spindles and found this post on the blog Of Wool and Loveliness. It seemed simple enough so I spent $5 for the necessary materials and went home to start my DIY experiment.

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In case you didn’t read the entry on Of Wool and Loveliness, all it takes to make a basic drop spindle is a dowel, a wooden wheel, and a hook. I bought the dowel and hook at my local home improvement store, and I found the wheel at a craft store.

Technically, once I put the pieces together, my homemade spindle was finished. But I really wanted to customize it and make it look nice so I bought some wood stain and polyurethane. I had stained wood before so it was piece of cake to turn this plain looking spindle into something beautiful.

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I haven’t actually spun with it yet, but I’ve been practicing by giving some of my scrap yarn a twirl. It spins so smoothly too! I was concerned that it would have a wobble, but it’s well balanced. I’m hoping to buy some roving next week, so I’ll definitely write an entry about my spinning experience!

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I talked to T about planting a cotton garden next year, assuming that I enjoy spinning. I read up on how to care for the plants and harvest the cotton. Cotton seems pretty low maintenance, so I’m actually really excited about the idea of planing some. (I might end up doing it even if I decide not to spin it, just because it seems like a waste not to use all this knowledge, ha ha!)

Are any of y’all handspinners? Leave me a comment and let me know! 🙂

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14 thoughts on “DIY Drop Spindle

  1. So, I’m totally just learning about spinning! Well, “just” as in I made a couple of drop spindles, and spun a couple of blobby “yarns” It’s been a year of learning and putting it aside for most of it. XD I can’t wait to see how you do though! It’s rather fun, but I definitely need more practice.

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    1. I’m sure my first yarn will be a complete mess. That’s okay though; it’ll be mine so I’ll be stoked to have something that I spun myself. XD

      But I’ve seen blobby yarns made on purpose for artistic projects so I’d still call that a success. 🙂

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  2. I’ve been thinking of spinning my own yarn myself too… and the cotton garden idea sounds wonderful. Does it take a lot of space? I can’t wait to see your first spin… ❤

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    1. It does take quite a bit of space. One article I read said that they harvested 2.5 pounds of cotton in a 80 sq ft space, but their plants only yielded 7 – 12 bolls per plant, which is much less than the average amount. (I read on a separate article that the average amount is closer to 30 – 40, but some plants will produce up to 100 bolls.)

      I’m thinking that I’m going to start small with my first cotton garden. It only takes 2.5 oz of cotton to make 120 yards of worsted weight yarn so I’m thinking of starting with a 3 x 3 planter, just to see how much it will produce. 🙂

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      1. aaw 😦 i don’t have space — living in a flat with communal garden to work with. However I am so excited for your project… good luck, Rachel ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aw, sorry to hear that! I’m thinking that if I end up not being able to have a garden that I might be able to find a farm nearby that will let me pick some of their cotton for a small fee. I don’t know if there are any farms growing cotton near you, but that might be something to look into as a good alternative. 🙂

        And thank you! ❤

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  3. That spindle turned out gorgeous! I have friends that want me to spin but I think I have too many other things going on to pick that up right now but I would love to dye my own yarn. I’m interested to see how it goes for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cool post! I bought my first drop spindle last year and added yet another hobby to the list, but I’m so glad that I did because it is so much fun! Especially when you already knit or crochet and can think of a million ways to use the wool once you’ve spun it.

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