When you first start hand spinning it seems like there are a lot of things going on that you need to manage. When learning to drop spindle handling the tool is one thing while trying to understand and learn to draft the fiber is a whole other component. Trying to do them both at once! Whoa! Park and draft is a technique used when learning that let's you focus on and practice your wool drafting.
Looking for a good beginner drop spindle? Check out the Ewethful Fiber website for great top whorl drop spindles and fiber for beginners.
Here's how it works:
1. While pinching the fiber so that no twist builds up, give your drop spindle a good twirl and let it go until it is about to stop spinning.
2. Now use your legs to "park" the spindle. Now that the spindle isn't moving you can focus on the fiber.
3. Draft a little fiber with one hand while still keeping the fiber pinched with your other hand.
4. Now release the pinch you have on the fiber and let the twist travel up the fiber. Pinch at the top of the fiber once the twist travel is just about done.
5. Rinse and repeat.
As you get more comfortable with drafting you can start to ease back into working your spindle and fiber at the same time. Remember to commit to practicing! 10 minutes a day and you will make quick progress.
Check out the Ewethful Fiber Mill website for online classes, drop spindles and easy to spin wool and fibers.
I am Kim Biegler, the owner and operator of Ewethful Fiber Farm & Mill. I create hand spinning fibers from locally sourced wool and teach others online how to hand spin their own yarn.