Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

So this past weekend I learned how to spin on a supported spindle.  For those of you that do not know, spindling is really the oldest organized way to spin fibers that there is.  There are spindle stones found in neolithic archeological sites and some of our oldest art depicts people using drop spindles.  Spindles are small and portable.  In the more recent past, shepherds would take spindles and wool from the sheep they were watching and spin it in the fields.  It was something that children learned young, and could do from a young age.  And I couldn’t do at all.

I had tried to drop spindle in the past.  I think that I may have tried to learn too close to learning how to spin on a  wheel  and I really just didn’t understand some of the basic mechanics and physics of it yet.  For years, whenever anyone would ask, I would joke that, “I put the ‘Drop’ in ‘Drop Spindle’!”  When I mentioned this to Robin from The Dancing Goats this weekend, he said to that he could have me spinning if I could just give him a few minutes.  So I gave him a few minutes.

And he did.


Please excuse the mess, I’m a grain inspector and it gets a bit messy by the end of the day.



I think that I am doing ok for as long as I have been spinning like this.  Obviously I still need some practice to get down to my usual laceweight thickness, but for only having learned it, I’m quite pleased.

For those that are going to ask, the wool is from Yarn Geek Fibers and is Polwarth roving that I had leftover from the thrummed mittens in the colorway “Yield to Me”.  The supported spindle and bowl are both from Robin at The Dancing Goats, similar to those sold here.


2 thoughts on “New Dog, Old Tricks

  1. Rosemary says:

    I had a really nice conversation with Robin Sunday! I did a lot of supported spindling earlier this year (practicing on yak and camel) and found it to be a big help for my long draw. I’ve washed samples of the fleeces I got from you and they are gorgeous.

    1. Sarah Jane Humke says:

      Wow! You’re really fast with the samples from the fleeces! I haven’t washed my shorts yet!

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