How I learned to handspin: tools and techniques

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My journey with learning to spin yarn by hand started as many such tales do: I took a class and learned the basics of spindle spinning. It was a useful way to begin, but the potential speed and efficiency of using a spinning wheel was a big lure.

Unfortunately, my first wheel and I never seemed to click, and for a couple of years, spinning on the wheel was an unenjoyable struggle resulting in yarn I wasn’t particularly happy with.

Eventually, after trying a couple of different models of Schacht wheels, I finally found one that felt natural and easy for me to work on – the wheel I’d been waiting for! Now I enjoy spinning and have made several batches of hand-spun yarn.

As I learn more I’ve come across a couple of books that have a lot of great information if you want to try creating different styles of yarn. Yarnitecture: A Knitter’s Guide to Spinning by Jillian Moreno and The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs: Techniques for Creating 80 Yarns by Sarah Anderson.

If you’re interested in starting with a hand spindle, check out these two videos:
Make a drop spindle out of CDs
Basic drop spindle tutorial.

Published by Sarah Scully

Sarah is the owner/operator of Vermont Natural Sheepskins. She is an avid knitter and knitwear designer. She also enjoys cooking and gardening.

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