Drop Spindle Class at The Shabby Sheep

On Saturday afternoon I went to The Shabby Sheep for a drop spindle class. I have always wanted to take one of their classes and for some reason, last week, I felt inspired to sign up for this one! My goal for the year was to try new things and spinning yarn is definitely a new thing for me! To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I wasn’t even sure what a drop spindle looked like! Shameful, I know. I foolishly assumed all fiber spinning involved a spinning wheel so I was surprised to discover the awesomeness that is the drop spindle.
The table in the yarn shop was covered in scrap pieces of batting, beautiful braids of hand-dyed fiber, and a selection of handspun yarns that made my eyes bulge out of my head. So. Gorgeous. It was very intimidating to have that beautiful,  color-twisted, oh-so-soft, skein of handspun merino staring me down as I fiddled and fumbled with the drop spindle. Thankfully the teacher was very patient and didn’t seem to mind having to explain the steps over and over again. Haha. Eventually it stuck but I still need a lot of practice. I learned how to hook the fiber on the top of the spindle, draw out the fibers, spin the spindle round and round, and slowly but surely created a strand of yarn. We worked with the pieces of sparkly scrap fiber on the table and eventually she demonstrated how to join in a new color. Overall I really enjoyed the class! You can see the fruits of my labor resulted in a teeny-tiny “skein-let”, as the shop owner, Ronda, so lovingly called it when she came in to see our work. I am proud of my little skein! Maybe one day, wayyy in the future, I will be able to make something as incredible as this skein of yarn work of art….

Ronda sat down and told me all of the work she put into making this beautiful skein of yarn. It is hand-dyed, hand-spun, and probably the prettiest yarn creation I have ever seen. After staring at it throughout the entire class I knew I had to break down and buy it for myself. It was too pretty to leave behind!

My sad little skein looks pretty pathetic sitting next to it, doesn’t it? Ha! That’s ok. I still had fun! My spinning skills might need some work but I am excited to give it a try again soon.

Have you tried a drop spindle before? I would love to hear your fiber spinning stories!

  1. Helen says:

    Well done for trying something new
    I’d love to have a go at spinning, I even bought Heidi Kenney’s spinning instructions ages ago but I think I’d need some hands on tuition to be able to actually make anything
    love your tiny skein-let and that big one you bought is gorgeous

  2. Becca says:

    It looks great for your first try! If you are eventually making yarn as gorgeous as your teacher’s you have to open a store so I can buy some. It’s stunning!

    Ladyface Blog

  3. Kristin says:

    I’m glad you had fun! :) The yarn you bought is lovely. I purchased my first hand-dyed braid of fiber from Etsy the other week, and I’ve been spinning it. I’m very excited to see how the color variations turn out, as I’ve only spun white or solid color fiber up until now.


  4. CJ says:

    Wow, that skein is stunning. And well done you for trying something new. Keep practising and you’ll be able to make skeins like that, wonderful.

  5. Nadia says:

    Spinning is wonderful! I am glad you enjoyed your class so much.

    I got into drop spindling when a girl at my local knit club brought her spindle along one day. She was new to it and I just watched her. I was hooked! Shortly after, I bought my own spindle and it took off from there. I now have a small selection of different spindles and love them all. Oh, and somehow I got a spinning wheel too though I never wanted one! 😉

  6. Sarah Grace says:

    I bought a drop spindle and tried it for myself once… it ended up a very uneven lumpy skein of yarn!

  7. I took a spinning class a few weeks ago for the first time, but alas it was not a spindle. I still found it to be really challenging, though. At the end of the class, I was finally starting to understand how relaxing and rewarding spinning can be, just feeling the roving slip through your fingers.

  8. fenn says:

    Well done on your first try!!!! You’ve really inspired me to give it a go & i’m glad you had fun :) I completely agree, that yarn is a beauty, I wouldn’t have been able to leave without him either :)



  9. Audry says:

    I think everyone’s first bit of spinning looks like your skein-let. I know mine sure did. I learned in 2010 and quickly got hooked. It didn’t take long to graduate from a drop spindle to a spinning wheel. Last year I managed to spin a skein of sock yarn and knit it up. Sometime I’m hoping to spin enough for a sweater!

  10. Faith says:

    That last picture made me laugh– it looks so cute next to that! I also can’t believe that skein she made, it’s amazing! I would never be able to decide what to make with it for fear of not giving it it’s full potential!

  11. Jill says:

    The wee skein is so cute :)
    I worked in Dallas a couple years ago for 8 weeks and the Shabby Sheep was within walking distance-love, love, love that place!! The ladies were the sweetest!

  12. Frances says:

    Ahh, sometime way back in the last century I also did some experimenting with a drop spindle. It was great fun. I still have that spindle, and may now have to dust it off and give it another twirl.

    Isn’t it fun to discover what really is involved in creating beautiful yarns that we’d otherwise take for granter?

    Best wishes!

  13. bekswhoknits says:

    I had a go at spinning class and have since spun a few different types of fibres, some with more success than others.
    But to practice I’ve been plying commercial yarns together. I plied some white DK, grey sock, and a rainbow mohair lace weight together using a drop spindle and it looks fantastic.
    I still have to soak and dry before I can use it, but it looks so pretty as a skein.

  14. conniya says:

    I’ve never used a drop spindle, but I’ve seen one before. Close to where I’m from there is a sort of park called The Homeplace that runs exactly like an 1800s settlement – animals, gardens, original buildings. The workers dress in 1800s style clothing and run the place and talk to visitors. I’ve seen ladies there use drop spindles. It’s pretty cool.

  15. Oh my goodness your little skeinlet! I just want to squeeze it haha

  16. Chatti says:

    I finally took one a week ago and well worth it. It’s fun but a bit of a challenge for me. I tend to make it too thin! But practice makes perfect I guess. : )

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  18. Carol Anne says:

    Your “skein-let” is adorable! You did a good job! It looks much better than my first when I took a class. I actually didn’t like spinning on the spindle at first but now that I have a spinning wheel I feel like I have a better grasp at spindling. It’s so much fun and addicting!

  19. Tia Berg says:

    That sounds like so much fun! Although I could see myself struggling with it quite a bit! It sounds like you had a good time and I’m sure with practice you will be a yarn-spinning fool! And the yarn you bought is incredible! I couldn’t stop staring at it! Can’t wait to see what you make with it!

    Tia from http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheCraftyEngineerx

  20. I got my first drop spindle last month on a road trip! I was watching YouTube videos on my phone to figure out how to do it properly and ended up using all the wool I bought! I spun it a little too tightly for my liking but I just need practice! The handspun you bought is beautiful!


  21. I’ve wanted to try drop spindling for over a year now. I bet it’s harder than it looks when you watch someone very experienced doing it. Just keep practicing, although your tiny skein is so precious looking.


  22. I admire those of you who venture into spinning. My stash is so big that I think I’d better avoid something that would add more yarn!

  23. Heather says:

    That looks like so much fun! Goodness I love the hand dyed yarn- can’t wait to see what you create with it!


  24. Tiffany says:

    Ooo fun!! I tried drop-spindling a couple of times, but found that it was too slow for my impatient self. 😉 I ended up buying a wheel (and then another wheel…) which I LOVE to use!! I truly admire those folks who have the patience to use a drop spindle though — it takes a lot of time and dedication!

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