WIP Wednesday – Support Spindle Spinning

After watching Brittany of Crux Fibres ever so gracefully spinning away on support spindle last fall in her IG stories, I immediately knew that I wanted to learn too.

I ordered a beautiful Tibetan support spindle from Fox Mountain Spindles and started at teaching myself how to use it. If you’re ever in the market for new fibre tools, I can’t recommend Scott’s woodworking highly enough. They are stunning , immaculately constructed, and super smooth!

Spinning with a support spindle is completely unlike any other hand spinning I’ve done in the past and there is a bit of a learning curve.

Most of the support spindles I’ve seen in my research process have a smooth point at the top of the shaft instead of a hook or notch that is usually present at the top of a drop spindle. Support spindles, since they aren’t “dropped” or suspended, don’t require them. They use a bowl or some form of support to spin the bottom tip of the spindle in (hence the classification of support spindle).

The actual spinning process is a bit unlike what I am used to as well. It requires a different kind of muscle memory and dexterity than I normally use in spindle spinning. While one hand keeps the support spindle spinning away on its bowl or cup and the other hand drafts (much like drop spindling). You do your spinning off the very tip-top of the spindle spike which completely changes the feel.

The method of winding on the cop looks the same with the exception of winding a wee little cop at the top of the spindle to keep the fibre in the proper position for spinning.

Clear as mud? 😆

The first few times I attempted spinning with my new spindle were a disaster. I kept spinning the spindle out of my hand, breaking the yarn, and getting tangled in the top. But slowly, with patience, persistence, and practice, practice, practice I started to catch on.

I used up any little scraps of leftover fibre I had in my stash with my practice and now have moved on to “the good stuff.” The fibre I’m spinning now is some lovely llama fibre from Maple River Farm in Nova Scotia.

Using a form of park and draft, I’m getting along really well with support spindle spinning and I’m also getting much more efficient. Most important of all, though, is that I’m very much enjoying the process. My spinning is smooth and I’m able to maintain a consistent thickness throughout.

Are you challenging yourself with any crafts or crafting techniques? Are you learning anything new? I’d love to hear!

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