Do you want to learn to spin wool?

Learn to Spin The Good Yarn with Ashford Australia

Do you want to learn to spin wool into yarn? Are you unsure about exactly what tools you will need to begin spinning either wool or other beautiful fibres? 

Have you decided which fibre you would like to spin first? Or maybe you are still unsure whether to choose wool, linen, or maybe some luxurious mulberry silk?

Many new spinners start on a gifted spinning wheel or a second hand one. But once they have spun their first yarn, they are usually hooked.

No matter why you have decided to start spinning or what you choose to spin, there are always things you should know first.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Which fibre should I learn to spin wool with?

The range of fibres you could choose to spin with is endless. So many so, that it can be difficult to decide.
The most popular fibre to spin and therefore the one that most beginners choose is sheep wool fibres.

However, even then there are many different types of wool to consider. The most often suggested sheep wool to start spinning is Corriedale. Corriedale wool has a defined, even crimp and is smooth with a lovely luster, making it a wonderful choice for new spinners. It also has a longer staple length which also makes it easier for beginners to spin. Once you have had a go, you may decide to give Merino a try also. Merino wool is very soft with a closely spaced crimp allowing you to spin a fine woollen yarn. Saying that, some say it can be harder to spin when just starting out.

Once you have decided which fibre to start spinning with, you can focus on learning the techniques to start spinning.

The Good Yarn Coloured Wool fibres with drop spindle

What equipment & tools do I need to start spinning wool?

The Good Yarn Ashford drop spindle with silver and black rolags

The most affordable way to learn to spin is with a drop spindle. Ashford have a fantastic ‘student’ version which is designed specially to make learning to spin easier.

Learners can find it easier to start with a drop spindle, as it means you don’t have to try to to treadle at the same time as drawing (also called drafting) the yarn. A drop spindle is also portable, meaning you can take it anywhere.

Once you have got a handle on using the student drop spindle, there are many other sizes and styles to try next. Next, you could try the classic or turkish drop spindles for something different. Each one spinning you a different character of yarn.

Apart from a drop spindle there are many types of other spinning wheels you can choose. They all have their own individual features and benefits and enable you to spin different types of yarn

E-Spinners

Perfect for faster spinning or where mobility may be an issue. The Ashford e-spinner 3 is the ideal spinner for on-the-go spinning and plying. It is known for being lightweight which, together with its small size make it convenient to take with you to your spinning group, on holidays or just to show a friend.

If you like spinning art yarn, then Ashford e-spinner super jumbo will be your new best friend. It is a very popular spinner, which has the best features of the Country Spinner 2 and the e-Spinner 3 in a super-size, but still portable electric spinner. With the super jumbo e-spinner, you can spin all types of yarn – including finer yarns, chunky yarns, creative art yarns, textured yarns and of course all your plying.

What is drafting your wool for spinning?

Drafting is the process of drawing out your fibre, such as a sliver, top or roving, to form a thinner strand of fibres, giving you a starting point to begin spinning your yarn.

Learning to draw out your fibre can take some time and practice. Knowing the level of spin you need to create the yarn of your choice needs a few attempts sometimes.

Don’t spend too much time worrying about how your first few yarns look. Sometimes the most interesting and beautiful projects start with the strangest looking yarns

Once you have mastered your drop spindle, it could be time to try a more traditional spinning wheel. In fact, the Ashford Spinning Wheel is often the first & most favourite choice for many spinners.

The Good Yarn Ashford Australia Man fixing spinning wheel
The Good Yarn Ashford Australia student drop spindle
The Good Yarn Ashford Australia traditional spinning wheel

There are many places you can learn to spin wool of fibres

Learning to spin is easy when you know where to find help. At The Good Yarn we have lots of helpful tutorials to teach you how to spin wool. They’re available to view on Youtube, to download for free from our website, or in Ashfords comprehensive Book of Hand Spinning.

You will also find your local Spinners & Weavers Guild can point you in the right direction for local classes or groups that meet regularly. These groups are able to give you access to different

The Good Yarn Ashford Australia Book of Hand Spinning
The Good Yarn Ashford Australia Spinners Essentials kit learn to spin
The Good Yarn Ashford Australia Traveller spinning wheel e-spinner

Instructions for using a Drop Spindle

The Good Yarn Assemble the Drop spindle

Once you have assembled the drop spindle. Tie a leader (a piece of yarn 1m/40”) to the shaft under the whorl, wrap it around the shaft and under the hook.

The Good Yarn spin the drop spindle draft wool

Spin the spindle clockwise and allow the leader wool to join onto your prepared fibres.

The Good Yarn learn to spin draft the fibres

While keeping the leader pinched with one hand, draft the fibres down.

The Good Yarn draft and twist spinning fibres

Slowly slide your fingers back up the drafted fibres allowing the twist to follow. Once twisted, the yarn will support the weight of the spindle

The Good Yarn Learn To Spin the spindle with wool

Keep the spindle spinning while drafting more yarn until the spindle reaches the floor.

Blog post proudly supplied by Ashford Wheels & Looms.

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