A drop spindle is used to spin fiber into yarn. The drop spindle has been used for thousands of years. In contrast, the spinning wheel has only been around for a few hundred years. Drop spindles are much less expensive than spinning wheels. They are small and very portable. They are also very easy to make. (See my post of two days ago to find out how.) It’s very easy to take to crowded rabbit shows.
Yarn made from a drop spindle can be just as nice as yarn from a spinning wheel. It just takes practice. Some people can make yarn just as fast with a drop spindle as with a spinning wheel. I’m still working on that.
Now let’s begin using the drop spindle.
First, you’ll need to start with about 18” of scrap yarn, also known as a leader. Knot one end around the shaft of your drop spindle and fray the other end. Wind the yarn around the shaft of your spindle and thread the end through the hook, leaving about a six inch tail. If you are right handed, use your left hand middle finger and thumb to hold the fiber and frayed end of yarn together. With your right hand, twist the spindle clockwise. If you get it going fast enough, you can let go of the spindle while you draft the wool. Your fiber will twist automatically into a single ply of yarn. Every minute or so, you will need to pause (or “park”) and wind your new yarn around the shaft of the spindle.
Below are some links for some good Youtubes on beginner spinning on a drop spindle.