Drop spindles are a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to get into spinning yarn. They are super simple to make and will bring you countless hours of spinning fun!
The history of spinning is fascinating to me. Did you know that before the invention of the spinning wheel, drop spindles are how all threads and yarns were spun?
That means that the sails on Columbus’ ships were woven from yarn spun on drop spindles.
That’s kinda a “wow” for me.
Anyway, I enjoy using the drop spindles and so I made some for myself and I wanted to show y’all how easy it is to do.
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Here’s what you need to make your own drop spindles:
- 3 wooden toy wheels about 2 inches in diameter
- 3 1/4 inch dowel rods 12 inches long (or 1 rod that is 3 feet long)
- some sand paper
- a pencil sharpener
I like to use the toy wheels because they already have the holes in the center.
You could use larger wheels, but the heavier they are the thicker your yarn has to be.
If the yarn is too thin it will break. I have seen all kinds of spindles made from all kinds of things, but these are so easy.
Here’s what you do. Cut the dowel rod into 3 equal lengths.
Or get the ones that are already cut. That should be about 12 inches each.
Then, stick one end of each piece into a pencil sharpener and get a point on the end.
Next, take some sand paper and smooth off both the cut end and the pointy end.
I knock off the tip of the point as well.
The point helps it spin on your leg (if you use it that way), but you don’t want to poke a hole in yourself. 🙂
Assembling your drop spindles
All that’s left is to push and twist the pointy end of the dowel rod through the hole in the wheel.
Make sure it’s on good. It should be really snug.
It’s not any fun at all to be spinning along and have the dowel come out!
You could stain these or paint them if you wanted to. Just make sure it’s good and dry before you use them.
It would be awful to get paint all over your yarn.
A set of 3 is great because you could fill up 2 and then use the 3rd to ply on to.
You can do all that with just one, you just have to slide the yarn off when it gets full and then spin the next one.
Then slide that one off and ply the two together back onto the spindle.
Altogether, this project for 3 spindles cost me $3.03. Really. Pinky Promise!
Pretty cheap way to find out if spinning is for you!
Here is a link to wool roving for spinning to get you started.
And this link goes to a video on YouTube that shows how to use the drop spindle.
So now you know how to make drop spindles. What kind of yarn are you going to spin first?