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MrKnitster 08-29-2013 08:23 PM

Okay, so now that I have knitting under my belt...
what about spinning? Where to begin? Any advice for how a beginner can get started?



mullerslanefarm 08-30-2013 09:11 AM

Here is a good place to start ...

MrKnitster 08-30-2013 11:34 AM

Thanks, mullerslanefarm, this looks great. I really don't know where to begin. I'll have to look out for a used wheel and a patient friend who spins...

MrKnitster 09-02-2013 08:28 AM

What about spinning resources in the Boston area? I would love to see a shop nearby to explore and get a sense of what's out there.


mullerslanefarm 09-03-2013 09:08 AM

Interweave Press used to have a web page of guilds, but I can't seem to locate it on their website.

However, the link I supplied above takes you to their Spinning Daily home page and gives you free downloads about spinning.

Before you go out and buy a wheel, I suggest you look into learning with a drop spindle. The link I gave you in the previous post, as well as in this post, will show you how to construct one yourself.

The Woolery has a great selection of spindles and prepared wool (top, roving or slyver). I suggest a medium staple length wool such as Corriedale.

Now that you have your spindle and wool, what to do with it?? I suggest bopping over to youtube and checking out Abby Franquemont. She has a number of videos (as well as the Interweave Press published book Respect the Spindle.

There is only 3 steps to spinning. 1) attenuated (drafting) the fiber 2) putting the twist into the fiber 3) placing the twisted fiber onto a holder. Essentially, you can do these three steps without the use of any mechanical device. The spindle and wheel just makes it faster. The wonderful thing about spindling is you can do each of these steps separately (and Abby will show you how).

Still interested in getting a spinning wheel? Be careful about getting one from an antique store or from ebay, et al. Many of these wheels don't have all their pieces and parts and it is difficult to find replacements. Try out as many wheels as you can. When you find the right one for you, it will 'speak' to you! Pick up a copy of the fall 2013 Spin-Off magazine (available from Interweave Press). It has a great comparison of wheels from the top manufacturers.

Boston area help?? Try the Boston Area Spinners and Dyers. Looks like they have a Spin In on the 25th of this month

MrKnitster 09-03-2013 09:34 AM


That's terrific! Thanks for all of your wonderful advice. I know my question was vague and I don't know where to begin, so I appreciate your patience. I was hoping to find some good resources to start slowly rather than rush out and buy equipment that I cannot really afford and may not even click with.

Thanks again,


mullerslanefarm 09-03-2013 02:39 PM

Glad to help, Alex!

I highly encourage you to go to the Boston guild's spin in this month. Most spinners are more than happy to encourage you to spin! (We want others to be 'twisted' too!)

Some guilds actually have equipment, books & magazines that you can borrow. Don't be surprised if there are other guys in the guild that partake in the fiber arts. I live in the middle of no where (60 miles to any significant city) and there are 5 men in one of my guilds that spin, knit, crochet or a combination.

Don't give up if it doesn't come naturally to you. Spinning doesn't for most. Keep at it for 15 minutes a day, in less than a month, you'll be producing yarn you'll be proud of.

And! Don't discard your first yarns!!! They knit up beautifully. I made a shawl from my first month's yarns. It is a funky looking shawl, but I'm a funky type of person!

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