What do you teach in Exotic Fiber Spindling?

By Amelia © February 5, 2010

Ooooh .... alpaca, cashmere, camel, yak ... luscious fibers! Enjoy these tactile sensations even more on your spindles. In Exotic Fiber Spindling, we'll work on fine spindling, learning which spindles spin fine fibers, ways to control fiber and drafting for spinning the finest we can. Top whorl spindles and Akha spindles will be used in class.

Supplies to bring: (completely optional) if you have them, bring any sub-ounce top whorl or bottom whorl spindles, Akha spindles, and handcards, and any short-staple or fine fibers you'd like advice on spinning.

Level of Experience necessary: Must be a spindle spinner, able to spin and ply on a spindle.

Materials for each class: fiber and handouts. Spindles will be provided in class for students to spin on, and some handcards will be available.

Not able to take the class? I am now preparing complete instructional handouts for most of my classes! So you can "take the class" from Ask The Bellwether, wherever you are. The Exotic Fiber Spindling e-booklet can be purchased at TheBellwether.com. It also includes a lovely shawlette knitting pattern, a terrific use of your spindle-spun fine yarns.

If you'd like a taste of the class itself, here's my YouTube clip on Akha spindling:

Class Synopsis:

Spindle Choice
  • Featherweight: 3 grams to under an ounce; 1/2 ounce typical
  • top whorl, bottom whorl, Akha (mid whorl)
Fiber Preparation
  • Cloud, top, puni
  • Staple length
  • Drafting Triangle
  • Amount of fiber =>Yarn thickness
Point of Twist Drafting
  • Hand placement
  • Making it yarn, Akha style
  • Making it strong, thigh roll
  • Akhan plying balls
  • Peruvian plying ball
  • Speed hand roll
  • Speed kick start
  • Skein with figure - 8 ties
  • Wash and whack
Post Class
  • Keep spindling
  • Cotton’s harder than cashmere
  • Merino/wool may not be easier (it ’ s stickier — sometimes helpful, sometimes not)
For a list of all classes see this post.

Akha spindle posts:
How do you spin long draw on a spindle?
How do you spin on an Akha spindle?
What's sideways spinning?
What spindle do I spin cotton on?

Fine spinning posts:
How do you spin short Guanaco fiber?
What tips do you have for spinning lace?
How can I spin a fine yarn?
A Yarn Story: Cotton Tales
How do you join cotton when spinning?
Where can I find cotton hand cards?
Why does my yarn drift apart when I'm plying?


© 5 February 2010 by Ask The Bellwether, posted at http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/


Mary said...

I've been spinning some qiviut on an 8-gram top whorl spindle - a Trindle, really -- and it's actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Amelia of Ask The Bellwether said...

@Mary: That's the thing exactly for some of these fibers -- a light spindle and solid drafting skills, and you can be up and spindling a fine thread right away. Trindles are nicely weighted for this sort of spinning, and at 8 grams it's very suited to qiviut. Thanks for the comment!