One of my New Year's Resolutions was to learn to spin and I'm having a fun time fulfilling it :). I'm also finding out that there is an endless amount of money one can spend on the craft. At the same time there are lots of simple ways to get started by making the tools yourself. (Then if you feel the need to spend money, you can buy luxury fiber :).
Drop Spindle: These range in cost from $10 to well over $100. The best spindles spin fast, balanced, and a long time.
These can be made from common household items such as a dowel rod and an old CD.
Donut Bead Spindle Tutorial:
You can make a gorgeous spindle using a donut bead. You will need a donut bead (Jo-Ann or Ebay), a rubber grommet to fit the center (Home Depot or Lowes in the electrical department. Home Depot only carries theirs in a multi-pack for $3.50), some vegetable oil on a Q-tip, a chopstick, a hand drill, and a cup hook.
1. Drill the end of the chopstick and screw in the cup hook. Predrilling prevents the chopstick from splitting. You will need a drill bit slightly smaller than the cup hook screw. Too small and the wood will split. Too big and the screw won't hold.
2. Fit the rubber grommet into the center of the donut bead. This will take some finagling.
3. Rub the chopstick with oil and slide the donut bead in place high on the chopstick near the hook. The oil makes this so much easier! Then just wipe off the excess with a paper towel. Done!
After spending all day rounding up the supplies to make my own spindle (Pretty chopsticks were harder to find than I expected), DH suggested just buying one from KnotMyDayJob at Etsy would be a better use of time: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KnotMyDayJob
I bought one for my daughter's birthday and couldn't be more pleased with this seller! Here's a sample of her work.
These are used to wind of the yarn from a drop spindle and keep it from getting tangled while you tie it for setting the twist. These can be failry expensive in beautiful hard woods, but when made from PVC pipe they cost around $3 and can stretch and set the twist in water saving a step. Here are insructions:
I used end caps on mine to keep the yarn from sliping off, to make it look better, and to keep the water from going inside when submerged.
This is an aid for winding a nice center pull ball. It is possible to get along without one, but after doing that for awhile, I can see how nice it might be to have one. You can imagine my delight when I found the instructions to make one from plastic coat hangers and a lazy susan.
https://webeccasays.blogspot.com/2008/05/tilta-swift.html Thanks Webecca!
These fancy gadgets make a beautiful center pull ball of yarn with just the turn of a crank. They cost around $30 and ebay has an abundance of them but bidding often gets fierce at the end. While deciding if this is a hobby you will have for awhile you can make your own center pull ball using a simple dowel rod.
Here's a how to video:
Knitting Needles: These can be had very inexpensively from ebay, but it's so easy to make a pair, you might want to try.
Here's a wooden pair:
(The last post used a knife to whittle points in the needles, but we've had good luck with a pencil sharpener.)
Here's step by step for making circular needles: