What is the Peruvian wind-on?

The Peruvian wind-on is a way to keep newly spun or newly plied yarn under tension as you wind it onto your spindle. It's also a great way to reach a spindle that has spun a length longer than an arm's reach.

It's also called the Peruvian Butterfly (as it looks a bit like a butterfly) and sometimes called Peruvian Plying (why, I don't know -- as it's not plying!)

To make a Peruvian Butterfly, once your yarn or ply has enough twist, start winding the new yarn in a figure-eight around the thumb and pinky finger of your left hand, bringing the spindle closer as you wind. Once you can reach the spindle with your right hand, take it in that hand and wind the yarn onto the shaft, unwinding it from your left hand as you go. Maintain a light tension between the spindle and the Butterfly, so that the yarn is wound "under control" to make a tidy cop on the spindle shaft.

I will use the Butterfly to reach a spindle even while it is still spinning, so I can stop it and wind on.

Lefties, feel free to wind the butterfly on your right hand as you hold your spindle in the left (grin!)

The drawing is © Copyright The Bellwether, from Spindling: The Basics, used with permission.

Now, to be quite honest, I don't get asked this question a whole lot -- but it is one of the first things I show to new spindlers, so they can wind their new yarn on without alot of frustration and tangling.


spinningdownunder said...

Hi Amelia, help, please! I must have 2 left hands worth of thumbs when I try this. I have my tops looped around my wrist then over my hand for spinning, and always end up in a tangle, even if I shake my hand so the tops slide down my arm a bit! I've seen the article in Yarn magazine, but the photo there doesn't show anything more than 2 lengths of yarn, one from the spindle to your hand, and the other presumably from your hand to the top/roving/sliver which isn't in the picture. Cheers, Caroline

Amelia of Ask The Bellwether said...

Caroline -- it sounds like maybe the fingers you're using for the butterfly are messing you up. I've used a variety of pairings, depending on where my fiber is coming from -- to keep my fiber from getting mixed into the wind-up. My favorite is index and pinky, but then usually the fiber is over my arm and out of the way, not up on my wrist. I've also used thumb and index finger, and pinky and middle finger. Perhaps changing which pair of fingers you wind the butterfly on would help?