How To Spin Yarn On A Top Whirl Drop Spindle

Are you ready to start spinning? Well I'm going to try my best to help you get started.

The wheel is an amazing tool but a spindle can create hand spun yarn just as beautiful and amazing. This tool is inexpensive and completely portable. Making it easy to steal some time from your busy schedule and spin anywhere you happen to be. Here's what you need to get started.

A Spindle
Spindles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. We are going to be working with a top whirl drop spindle. If you have a local yarn store that stocks spindles I would recommend going in and trying out a few. If not, this would be a good one to get you started.

If your spinning for the first time it is recommended to start with an undyed medium wool that is carded. A 4oz roving of Bluefaced Leicester wool is what I will be using. Again if you have a local yarn store that stocks wool rovings its the perfect place to find fibers to spin. If not, Etsy is a good place to start looking. Try typing undyed wool roving in the search. This listing for a 4oz BFL wool roving at Rocky Mountain Fibers looks like a good one.

The Know How
So now that you have your spindle and your fiber your ready to start spinning. Signing up for a beginning spinning class is a perfect place to start. But if you can't find a class near you don't be deterred. Head to your local library and check out a few books on spinning. I have found this book Respect the Spindle to be an invaluable resource. I read this book from cover to cover and found it to be extremely helpful and completely fascinating. I'm also linking up a video below to help you get started.

Things to Keep in Mind
Don't worry if your yarn isn't consistent when you first start spinning. Give yourself some time to get the feel for it. And love your hand spun yarn even if it doesn't turn out exactly like you thought it should. Perfection is overrated don't you think?

Here's a quick video to help you get going. 

This is my first video tutorial so I would love to hear your feedback. Is this video helpful? Did I leave out important steps? Please feel free to leave a question in the comment box if your having a hard time getting started. I would be happy to help you work through this beginning stage.

So go on... Get started. And be amazed that you can create your very own hand spun yarn. See you back here next week with a full spindle and I'll show you how to wind the yarn off of your spindle into a ball.

Happy Spinning!


  1. Your tutorial is wonderful - you make spinning look so easy. I have a spindle and some roving in the cupboard - it's been their years - but I haven't been brave enough to try it. Now I'm going to go for it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I've always been curious about how you do that. If I started that, my husband really would go out and buy some sheep LOL

  3. Wow Sara, that was amazing. I really enjoyed your tutorial. I could understand your description and explanation. Thank you. You sure do make it look easy, you must be practicing or your just a "natural". I can't wait to see next weeks cont. Take care, xoRobin❤

  4. Sara, you did such a great job with this video. I have always wanted to know how to do this and you were so clear with your explanation. Plus I loved actually seeing you, thanks so much.

  5. Great job! That was perfect! Thank you so much! I've looked around for instuctions on how to do this and yours was, by far, the most clear and easy-to-follow!

  6. You did an amazing job with your video! You made it look easier than I thought it would be. The only thing I had was when you told us how long the yarn should be to connect I had to go back to hear it again. But you did a really good video!

  7. Great video Sara, brilliant tutorial. I'm not ready to start spinning but when I am I will come back to this tutorial. Looking forward to next weeks instalment xox

  8. Great video and tutorial, I've been spinning since christmas but there's always something new to learn. Was nice to see you around my blog the other day, thanks for visiting :)

    Miss Kitten

  9. nice video Sara...you make it look so easy & attainable!! ;) Can you get some close ups next time?? I just wanted to be able to see your fingers after you park & allow the twisting to trail up. thanks! - jenn

  10. Great video tutorial, Sara! It only gets better from here.

  11. Hey Sara, I enrolled on a drop spindle spinning class for November! Entirely inspired by you! I'm really excited about it. I can't see your video though :0(

  12. Wow, this has come precisely at the right time! I picked my spindle back up yesterday and had another go at teaching myself (it didn't go quite as planned!!) Unfortunately my internet here isn't quick enough to watch videos, but I will watch yours when I can.

    Perhaps you will answer this in your next installment anyway, but do you have any advice about what to do if the yarn starts to unravel itself when you take it off the spindle? I've tried tying a knot but it just doesn't keep its twist at all.

    Thank you for taking the time to write all of this up :) I eagerly await your next post :D

    Much love,

  13. I found some video's on the internet that were not clear at all, but this is so easy to understand. After your post I immediately bought a spindle and some wool and I received them today, so I am going to try to spin some.

    Thank you very much.

    Best regards,

  14. Hi Jenn. Thanks so much for leaving a comment with this suggestion. I will be happy to add some photos of finger placement in the spinning process. Having so much fun sharing this new fiber obsession. Wishing you a happy Sunday. :)


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