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.

Ashford 50mm Drop Spindle
Ashford 50mm Drop Spindle
Canadian shipping only

From Ashford, this is made from solid silver beech hardwood, lightly lacquered and smooth. Total length including hook, 18cm (7 inches). Whorl diameter is 50mm (1.97 inches). Weighs approximately 15 - 17g (.53 - .6 oz). You can't beat this as a good value light spindle for learning to do lace weight yarns. If you can't afford a fancy hand-turned exotic spindle, consider this one first! The whorl features two notches.

PRODUCT of NEW ZEALAND

$27.00 Add to cart
Ashford 70mm Drop Spindle
Ashford 70mm Drop Spindle
Canadian shipping only

From Ashford, this is made from solid silver beech hardwood, lightly lacquered and smooth. Total length including hook, 26cm (10.24 inches). Whorl diameter is 70mm (2.76 inches). Weighs approximately 38 - 41g (1.34 - 1.45 oz). A great "go to" spindle for a wide range of yarn weights, not too heavy and not too light. The whorl features two notches.

PRODUCT of NEW ZEALAND

$32.00 Add to cart
Ashford 90mm Drop Spindle
Ashford 90mm Drop Spindle
Canadian shipping only

From Ashford, this is made from solid silver beech hardwood, lightly lacquered and smooth. Total length including hook, 31cm (12.2 inches). Whorl diameter is 90mm (3.54 inches). Weighs approximately 85 - 89g (3 - 3.14 oz). Another good choice for a beginner's spindle, then later it's got a terrific long shaft that will hold loads of plied yarn. The whorl features two notches.

PRODUCT of NEW ZEALAND

$38.00 Add to cart
Ashford drop spindle @ The Fibre Garden
Ashford Student Spindle
Canadian shipping only The new and improved Student Drop Spindle is now lighter and has a fixed top whorl that makes it ideal for beginners and teaching. Made from sold silver beech hardwood, unfinished but easily stained, painted or varnished if you desire. Shaft length 9-1/4 inches (235mm). Whorl diameter is 80mm (3-1/8 inches). Weighs approximately 65 grams (2.25 oz). This new lighter version is a better weight for beginners. There is no yarn notch in the whorl but use a file to make one if you want. PRODUCT of NEW ZEALAND
$19.00 Add to cart
Louet Octagonal
Louet Octagonal

From Louet, this is made from unfinished wood with an interesting octagonal-shaped whorl. Easily stained, painted or varnished if desired. Shaft length including hook, 25cm (9.8 inches). Whorl diameter is 6.5cm (2.6 inches). Weighs approximately 41 - 46g (1.4 - 1.6 oz). Another beginner spindle of excellent value, with a midrange weight that makes it great for spinning medium to thin yarns. Some people describe this as being "purse sized". No notch on the whorl but the interesting shape helps to keep your yarn from slipping.

PRODUCT of HOLLAND

$17.70 Add to cart