I have quickly become addicted to spinning. On cool evenings, you can find me excitedly watching the magic of twist convert fluffy fiber into sturdy yarn. I am still fascinated with the transformation. But spinning has been a home-based-only hobby. My spinning wheel is not portable. It doesn't fit in even my largest purse, and I can't see myself pulling it out to pass the time while waiting in line or watching a baseball game.
That's why I spent some time this weekend learning to spin, park, and draft with Maggie Casey. While this terminology made me immediately think of car racing, Maggie uses these terms to talk about spinning with a drop spindle. Unlike my spinning wheel, a drop spindle fits easily in my bag, and its portability means I can probably spin more fiber in a week with a drop spindle than with my regular wheel.
With Maggie Casey's newest video, Getting Started on a Drop Spindle, I quickly had my own drop spindle up and running. For those new to spinning, Maggie explains wool staple length and crimp as well as carding versus combing. For drop spindles, she recommends carded fibers, comparing the uniform staple to a drill team. And Maggie's thorough step-by-step explanation of drafting has improved both my wheel and drop spindle yarn.
I love Maggie's teaching style as she covers the basics of fiber makeup and drafting, then teaches seated spinning, covering the technique of parking the spindle in your lap to prevent the yarn from untwisting. Multiple camera angles allow you to see those little details such as hand placement when drafting that are essential when learning a new skill. And Maggie doesn't overwhelm you with information, rather, she gives you the most important step to practice first and then helps you refine that step, covering how to prevent or fix mistakes. She also includes tips and tricks to make the process faster and easier.
In conveniently separated chapters, Maggie covers every step of the process, including spinning while standing, plying (I love her use of flower pots to separate the balls while plying), creating a skein, setting the twist, and washing the yarn, making it easy to go back and watch individual stages of the yarn creation process. Order or download Getting Started on a Drop Spindle today and take your spinning with you the next time you leave the house.