How do you make a leader on your bobbin?

The bobbin and lazy kate featured in the photos are from my Van Eaton Fold N' Tote in Apple wood. The leader is red acrylic from my never-ending cone of the same.

Loop of yarn about 2-3 feet long

Start with a 4-6 foot length of yarn. I use whatever's on hand -- acrylic, cotton twine, handspun. Tightly spun, resistant to breakage is best. Not too thick, not too fine (no jute, no thread). Most of my leaders are about fingering weight.

Closeup Knot on LoopThe knot on the loop is a simple, overhand knot.

Place loop over bobbinPlace the loop around the bobbin ... wrap the bobbin with the loop of yarn; you'll be drawing one end of the loop through the other in the next step.

Pull one end of loop through the otherPull one end of the loop through the other, around the bobbin.

Pull loop up tightFinish pulling one end of the loop through the other and snug it up on the core of the bobbin. Tight.

Make a half-hitchNext, make a half-hitch next to the loop-through-loop (cat whiskers optional).

Snug up the half hitchSnug the half-hitch up tight, next to the first wrap around the bobbin. This is a very secure leader that won't rotate around the core as long as both wraps are snugged up tight. The cat's paw is AnnaBannana, helper extraordinaire.

If your leader should break, you can tie another simple overhand knot. If the knot is at the very end (usually it is), remove the leader from the bobbin and rotate the loop a bit before putting it back on the bobbin so the knot is not presented at the end. I change my leader after it breaks 3-4 times or if the twist makes it just look too unappetizing to spin from ... either of those usually takes at least a few months to occur.

Happy spinning!


If you do something different or have a leader tip to recommend, I'd love to hear it! Please comment on the blog or contact me. Thanks!


Leigh said...

I will have to try this method. It looks like a good one to me.

Cynthia A. said...

Thank you, you have solved my slippy leader problem!

Linda said...

Thank you, Amelia. As someone new to spinning, I didn't know how to create a leader. Your instructions and photos made the process clear and simple. So very grateful!