The Fibre Garden : Top Whorl Spindles
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Most of the modern books on drop spindling seem to feature top-whorl spindles, most often with a hook at the top of the shaft. The choice in these is wide, from student or beginner ones to fancy hand-made ones in all kinds of materials, though wood is the most common.
Basically, the lighter the spindle, the thinner the yarn that can be easily created. The main reason is that very small and light spindles tend to lose their momentum when thicker yarns are being spun. That being said, an experienced drop spindler can make almost any weight of yarn on any spindle.
We like to start beginners out on a relatively heavy drop spindle, in the range of 50 to 85 grams (1.75 to 3 oz) or so, and often on pencil roving. This allows their hands to learn the basics without drafting of the fibre causing frustration — that part can come later. That being said, many spindlers just dive in head first and are up and spinning in fifteen minutes flat. After a time, if the starter spindle is too heavy for the yarn weight of choice, you’ve always got a nice weight of spindle for doing plying.