Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Drop Spindles

Drop spindles are so easy to make!
And spinning yarn is fun.
There are lots of directions out there for spindles made out of cd's and such.... but if I'm gonna be dyeing and spinning my own wool, then I am choosing the romantical process, and want natural materials.
I want wood.
So this is how we made bottom whorl drop spindles.

First we got dowels from hardware store. You can pick them up at craft stores, too, but they're substantially less expensive at hardware stores.
Make sure that you get a dowel large enough in diameter that screwing in your cup screw won't split your wood. I think our best ones are 3/8 of an inch.

You'll need a little cup screw for each spindle.

You'll need a knob or something for a weight for your whorl. You can find something near the dowels or look for them in the drawer knob section, or find wheels for cars in the craft store (these will already have a hole in them).

If the piece you intend for your whorl has a screw in it (for the drawer), then just grasp onto the screw with pliers, and turn it out of your knob.

If your knob is flat on both sides, then you'll want to drill all the way through-- I had nothing to hold mine with, and drilling through something thick while holding it in my palm was quite nerve-racking, and I opted not to do that.
We used rounded knobs, and find them to be perfectly sufficient for a whorl at the very bottom of the spindle.
The babes tried a different version, and made discs out of polymer clay, and pressed their designs into their whorls.Make sure it's round and flat so that your whorl will spin as evenly as possible - you don't want it awkward and wobbly.

We pierced the discs with the spindle, and baked them in the oven for about 25 minutes (at 275f)

Attach your cup holder screw into one end of your spindle (this is to hold your wool onto your spindle while you're spinning the new roving onto it)
and place your whorl onto the other end.

If it's flat, then leave a couple of inches of the bottom of your spindle poking through your knob.
Glue your whorl into place if it isn't tight.

Sharpen (to shape) with a pencil sharpener the end of your spindle to make for good spinning on a tabletop.
'Tis done.


  1. Fun! We have been spinning too...although the boys like when I hold the drop spindle and roving and they just do the spinny part! :)

  2. Oh Stephanie, I love this idea.

  3. I have no idea about romantical whorls and the like.... I'm not a knitter or a spinner. It all looks fairly intriguing though :)

  4. Spinning is the best, and kids love it! Great job making your own spindles. What a nice idea. :)

  5. Oh, yes! Love the romantical side of this too : )
    Excellent job Mama and kiddos!!


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