V is 5 & 1/2 now and has been wanting to learn how to spin yarn for a while. I told her I'd get her a drop spindle for Christmas because by then she'll be 6 and I thought that'd be a fine time to learn. But when she mentioned wanting to learn again the other day, I decided maybe I shouldn't wait until Christmas.
So I started looking around for an smaller spindle that would be just right for her hands and be inexpensive enough that it'd be ok if she found she didn't have as much interest in it as she says.
I browsed Etsy until I found Spinerosity and her mini spindles, which she says are the perfect size to fit in your purse for spinning on the go. It came today and it looks to be the perfect size for V too.
I've never spun yarn on a drop spindle before. When I was spinning yarn for a living, I knew I didn't have the time or the patience, but lately the idea has grown on me.
So I checked YouTube and found this video, which showed me everything I needed to know and I got started. They say learning on a drop spindle makes wheel spinning easier and I'm sure it's the other way around too because it was no trouble for me at all. I had the fiber wrapped around the wrong hand at first, but that was an easy fix.
I spun from an old batt I don't remember making. I haven't shown V how yet, but when I do I'll report back. She wants to take some wool from undyed roving to dyed (with Easter egg dyes - no acid dyes for her!) to yarn. I'm sure she can do it if she has enough patience, so we'll see if her patience has developed to that point yet.
As for me, I'm sorry that it took me so long to try spinning on a spindle. It's one of those things that lets you feel your connection to this life, to fiber animals, and to people around the world and across generations who spin and change that yarn into useful things. It would take time to produce enough yarn for something really useful. I could just as easily go to WalMart and buy something. Or get out my wheel and spin something in an hour or so. I've done both those things, many times. But at the moment, the simplicity of the spindle is enough for me. It feels right.