How do you spin on an Akha spindle?

Two AkhasBy Amelia

Traditional Akha style spindling is done in two steps. First, hold the spindle horizontally, spin it with your right hand while drafting (horizontally) with your left hand. Then, once there is enough twist in the length of new yarn to hold it together, rotate the spindle to the vertical and give it a twist with your right hand to set it spinning and add the final twist to your yarn, before winding it on. Wind on above the whorl, so that the length below the whorl is free to be twirled and spun.

The first step is a horizontal style of supported spindling -- you can support spindle while you walk, with the Akha spindling method; and the second step is traditional drop spindling.

When winding on, it is best to keep the yarn under tension using the Peruvian Wind-On.

For a great resource on Akha spindling, see Connie Delaney's booklet Akha Spindling.

Akha style spindling is terrific for long-draw fine fibers such as cotton (its historic use), cashmere, camel, and yak. Akhas are nice generally for all fine spinning.

For a snippet more, see yesterday's post What spindle do I spin cotton on?
Edited 26 Feb 09: added photo and opener/trailer.

posted 12 January 2007 at

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