Teaching has to be fun -- so this class is "I Wanna Spindle!". The class goal is for people to be comfortable with their spindles, have the rudiments of drafting down, and be able to ply -- they walk away with tips to help them keep spinning, information on how to finish their very first handspun skeins, and their first (or in some cases, second!) spindle.
Taught: most recently, OFFF 2007, Jefferson County Farm Tour (@ Ananda Hills Farm) OCt. 2007.
Teaching next: NwRSA 2008.
When I have limited time (20 minutes) and a very young/high energy group (my son's or daughter's classes, for example), we focus on spinning a single, then folding it in half to make a stable length of yarn. They get a length usually long enough (and thick enough, wink) for a bookmark, and are quite happy with it.
With a group of students whose goal is to learn to spin, I use the following format, based on my book, Spindling: The Basics.
Choosing a Spindle
- size, shape, and weight
- Wool or?
- Which wool?
- Staple length
- Drafting Fiber
The Leader / Balance
Park & Draft
- Hand placement
- Draft triangle
- Wind on
- Thick spots
- Preparing to ply
- Balanced yarn
- Combine twirl and draft
- Figure-8 ties
- Twisting Up a skein
- Store as skein
Also great resources for learning to spindle-spin abound on-line:
ispindle.com -- terrific videos
interweave.com/spin -- see their section "resources" for great articles & handouts
joyofhandspinning.com -- great videos
Carol Cassidy-Fayer's Drop Spindle Instructions
Handspinning on YouTube -- collection of videos on a variety of spinning topics, great drop spindle videos!
Along with the two spindle-focussed spinning lists, spindlers and spindlitis, and the learning to spin list, spinning_camp, all on Yahoo groups.
There's also the Livejournal Spinning Fiber community, and the spinning Knitty style forum on Knitty.
Do you teach drop spindling? Or have you recently learned? What advice would you offer? Post it in the comments here or contact me. Thanks!