Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Tool review- Drop spindle starter kit

Something differnet to review this week, I thought I would talk about my drop spindle starter kit. I bought it from ebay about a year ago, there are a lot of similar ones available, but I went for this one.
The kit contains an Ashford top whorl drop spindle, instruction sheet and about 100g of merino fibre in four colours.

The spindle weighs about 75g, so it is quite heavy and most suited to thicker yarns, which is fine for beginners but not as great once you get going. Although if you get into it you are likely to buy more spindles as there is a huge range of nice ones to choose from. There is a little bit of roughness to the wood on mine in a couple of places, but not much and it has not affected the spinning at all.

The instruction sheet is not great, but to be honest spindling is not really something that is easy to write down. Either having someone to show you, or looking online at YouTube type videos is an easier way to go. The instructions do make sense once you have already got the hang of it, but that is not overly helpful.

The fibre in the kit seems to spin well. I have heard suggestions that beginners should use something with a longer staple (length of flibrey fluff) than merino, but I found it to be fine. Having multiple colours is nice as you can get some interesteing stripng once you get going. 100g seems to be enough to have a decent play with and decide if you want to buy more.

The price for the kit is good, you can pay about the same for the spindle alone and with this one you get fibre to play with too. The seller also usually has a range of colours, so you can pick which one you prefer and are more likely to use.

It is possible to spin thin, even on a heavy spindle, just more of a pain to join lengths of fibre together.
In all the kit is good, it got me into spinning. I would guess that similar ones are just as good, but can only comment on the one I tried. There are lots of other alternatives for trying out spindling, like borrow one or make one from a CD and a stick; but if you want a set, or want to give one as a gift this is a good way to go.

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