I Need Some Support In My Life

Wow! Haven’t seen this guy in a while…

I order a lot of stuff to try out on etsy because there’s such a large number of competitive sellers to choose from.  A little while back when I ordered that fluff to process, I ordered from The Joyful Sheep.  Like many other etsy sellers, she added an extra little fibery goodie in her shipment (I love that!).  So, I figured I’d use the sample to take another crack at support spindling.  As you can see above, support spindles usually have a bowl or are meant to be spun on some other surface.  Hence, the term, “support.” This is a Tibetan spindle and bowl handcrafted by Enid Ashcroft, another etsy seller (love her stuff!).

Let me say, support spindling hasn’t been quite as nice to me as drop spindling.  Now, it could be that I’ve got the technique all wrong….But, I figure, it’s producing a singles, so until I can get my hands to learn a better way to do it, if it ain’t broke, I’m not going to try to fix it right away.  🙂  But I have noticed some differences in drop spindling and support spindling that are worth pointing out, I think.

  • Again, in support spindling, there’s no gravity really to help you along because the spindle is supported.  Well, there’s enough to cause the spindle to drop if you forget to keep holding it or it slips out of your fingers (ask me how I know that).  But, for the most part, gravity doesn’t play a huge role.  With drop spindle spinning, the weight is helping as you draft to keep that strand forming.  As long as the strand is intact and the spindle hasn’t fallen to the ground, your singles is more than likely pretty sound.  But in support spindling, you have to draft out and keep it at a pace that won’t force the strand to either break (too much twist) or drift apart (too little twist) as the spindle is spinning.  That’s a pretty tough trick to pull off! Which brings me to my next point…
  • In support spindling, rather than being able to use both hands to form the singles, I use one to start and keep the spindle in motion and the other to draft out.

It’s really weird!! But I’m beginning to get the hang of it, I think.  Every so often, I have to do the equivalent of parking and drafting where I spin the spindle three or four times and then draft out an inch or so (seems this fiber likes three or four twists per inch).  And then there are times when I can draft out while the spindle keeps moving.  But, one thing is certain.  It’s a dance and we’re still learning each other.  Although I have to say, I have three support spindles right now and I have tried two so far.  This one has been the easiest one to use.

In other news, I’m still working on the fiber prepping.  I finished that basketful I showed you in the last post.  Some I carded and some I combed.  Um….I’m loving the combs!!! I think I still need to work on my carding though.

This time I used a method for carding that I found in Spinning Wool Beyond the Basics  by Anne Field.  I think it worked out too.  Need lots of practice though! Still, somebody’s got to spin this stuff up, right?  I’ll let you know how that goes.

One more update…After starting three different baby patterns and not really feeling either one of them, I finally started Harper’s Hood from ravelry with some leftover balls of yarn.  Pretty simple.  Should be able to get this done after school tomorrow.  Then, maybe some baby bootees too. 🙂

So, yeah.  Still working on that pesky stash issue, lol! 🙂


  1. It all looks like fun too me.

  2. Beautiful spindle! I appreciate your tenacity!

  3. It is a beautiful looking tool. Interesting write-up.

    • Thanks! I usually use drop spindles for spindling. But I want to learn support spindles too. This one is my favorite style so far. But there are other styles of supported spindles like the Russian supported spindle types, Navajo spindles, tahklis….and there are drop spindles that can be used like support spindles too. Don’t quote me, but I believe one of the advantages to using a supported spindle is that you can spin extremely fine yarns on them because you don’t have gravity to worry about. But, I believe, the better a spinner is, give or take some minor barriers, they can spin any weight yarn on almost any spindle.

  4. You’re pretty much speaking a foreign language to me right now, but I still love reading all about it! I love how you keep your fingers super busy. Even when I’m not crafting (kinda hard while the craft room is gutted and supplies stashed away), it’s a joy to read about what others are doing. 🙂

    • Thanks Lib! But you seem busy enough over there vending. I know that has to be exciting. And you must find so many people to buy new toys from? Too much eye candy, I’m sure!

  5. grayseasaylor says:

    Your support spindle is beautiful, as is the yarn you have spun with it. I have not tried any support spindle yet, though I think it might be fun to try. I have two simple drop spindles that each have a hook on one end and I have not succeeded in forming yarn with either, but a few years ago I followed the directions in a Spin Off magazine and made a drop spindle with two CDs. I was able to form some yarn but did not practice enough to become proficient. This February I was given a Turkish spindle and have enjoyed making some yarn with it. I dare say it is my favorite spindle so far and I blogged about it a few weeks ago. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    • You know, I got a Turkish spindle a bit ago and I think it is my favorite spindle style too! I don’t know how that happened because I loved the top whorl spindles up until then. Maybe it is the beautiful patterns that are formed on the arms? I really can’t say. But you are definitely not alone in that. 🙂

  6. Beautiful pictures! You are a gifted photographer as well as crafter. Your ply on the Tibetan spindle is wonderfully even and gorgeous! Thanks for mentioning my products on your blog, I’m very honored!


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