Make Yarn

Getting Started

Here is a tutorial video I’ve put together to help teach you how to spin. Everyone has a different learning style, so if this video isn’t helpful, remember there are a ton of resources available and many other spinners have made similar videos and tutorials.

You can also find web-based courses, with experts like Maggie Casey, through Longthread Media, some of which are free.

Learning to make your own yarn is both easier and more difficult than you think. It doesn’t have to be expensive or require a bunch of complex tools (though you can certainly go that direction if you follow the rabbit hole down)!

With a little patience, it is a skill you can add to your repertoire.

This page contains a list of resources to get you started.

THE TOOLS YOU NEED

  • Spindle
  • Fiber

Yes, that’s it.

Spindle

At its most basic, a spindle is a stick used to add twist to fiber. Add a weight to make it spin longer and you’re in business.

There are a lot of great spindle-makers out there creating incredible works of art. See what’s out there and what appeals to you.

For starting, I like to recommend finding an inexpensive spindle that can take a beating.

  • Luthvarian Spindle Kit – We offer a spindle kit developed for beginning spinners. It contains a 1.8oz drop spindle and 3 oz of Corriedale wool, as well as a project bag.

Fiber

My first time spinning, I used Polyfil Fiberfill and a spindle made from a candle stub and coat hanger. Let’s be honest, you start with what’s available to you. I prefer to start my students with a medium-coarse wool with at least a 3″ staple length. Medium wools don’t slip as easily as fine wools and tend to give students more control.

I also like to start students roughly in the middle when it comes to staple length. It gives a good baseline for how far apart to keep your hands while drafting and makes it easier to move to a longer or shorter fiber.

We’ve got Corriedale available here, in addition to our kits.

CVM is considered a threatened breed by the Livestock Conservancy and is worth supporting. Buy wool direct from farmers by searching the Conservancy’s breeder directory. If you’re new to spinning, ask for roving.