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Several years ago, I discovered the beautiful hobby of weaving cloth on a loom, but I’ve always used pre-made yarn from the craft store, so I decided to take one step back and attempt to spin wool into yarn!

The true beginning of spinning would be to sheer a sheep of its wool, clean the wool, dye it and card it.  But, since I don’t have any sheep, I did the next best thing, I bought dyed wool from the craft store.

To spin wool, you must have a spinning mechanism of some sort.  The most popular machines for spinning are spinning wheels, which are beautiful, but expensive if you’re just wanting to try it out.  However, before there were spinning wheels, there were drop spindles.  (And don’t worry, there is nothing sharp on these spindles.  You won’t prick your finger and you won’t fall asleep for 100 years, like Sleeping Beauty.)

3 drop spindles

Not sure if I was going to like spinning, I didn’t want to buy a drop spindle.  I’m cheap like that, I guess.  So, I looked for a way that I could make my own drop spindle and found this design!  It is made from a foot-long wooden dowel, two old CD’s, a rubber grommet, and a small picture frame hook. 

homemade spindle

I had to watch several YouTube videos, but I finally got the theory of the process of spinning on a drop spindle, so off I went.  My first attempts were very awkward and clumsy.  To be honest, I’m still rather clumsy with the spinning, but once in a while, I managed to make a beautiful piece of yarn.  The art of spinning with a drop spindle is to keep the spindlespinning spinning while holding the wool and adding more at the same time.

For me, getting the consistency right is the toughest part of spinning.  Some of my spun yarn is incredibly thin, while other parts of it are thick and soft.  Neither thickness is bad, but it would be better if it was consistent.  It’s a challenge, to be sure.

Did you know that HCPL has a huge database devoted to arts, crafts, and hobbies?  Just go to:

HCPL.net > Explore > Research & Learn – Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Hobbies and Crafts – Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center

Once there, you can search for just about anything art related that you can imagine - including spinning on drop spindles!  You can also check out these books from HCPL on Spinning.

There are also several libraries in HCPL that have crochet/knitting groups.  Look for events at Baldwin Boettcher, Tomball Community Library, Barbara Bush Branch Library, Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library, and Atascocita Branch Library.

spinning yarn

 

how to spin

 

art of the loom

 

textiles yarn spinner

If you decide to give spinning a try, share a picture of your spinning adventures with your library.  We would love it see your adventures in art.

Happy Spinning!

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