How to Spin - 5 Simple Steps

Untwisting the mystery

All spinning is simply the mixing of fibre and twist. If you are right-handed, the twist will be controlled with your left hand and the fibre with your right. If you are left handed then you may prefer to reverse this. Either way, the result is the same: Twist + Fibre = Yarn.

The ability to draw out a long thread - as in longdraw spinning - depends on being able to control the balance between the amount of twist and the amount of fibre. With the optimum mix the yarn will feel like elastic. It is easier to find this 'feel of elasticity' without the distraction of a wheel which is often making twist faster than one can control it. When you can balance the proportions of fibre and twist and feel the elasticity, then it is time to get the wheel or drop spindle out! And welcome to a lifetime of more satisfying spinning from now on. Projects will come to completion long before you run out of steam and you will probably be more creative too.

Instructions for getting started:

  • Take a single lock of fibre
  • Hold the lock with both hands half way down the staple (so that the tip and cut ends are free)
  • With your left hand put in some twist, say 4-6 turns
  • With your right hand draught out a roving about 6 inches long - don't worry about the lumps
  • Put in lots more twist and, at the same time, draw out a fine thread which will remove the lumps Thread may be up to three feet long.

That's longdraw spinning - Fun, Fast and Effective!