After spinning 8 ounces of “Gertrude”, a mixed roving of romeny / north country cheviot / cotswold from The Bellwether, I built up enough confidence to try merino . Unlike the coopworth shown in my last post, merino is smother and harder to control. The picture on the right shows some merino that I spun on a wheel. For a comparison, I picked up my hand spindle and produced the yarn shown on the left.

merino_spindle.jpg merino_wheel.jpg

I’m coming to the conclusion that although a drop spindle might appear to be more difficult than a wheel, I can actually produce more consistent results on a drop spindle. I’m finding it hard to control the flow of fiber into the wheel while drafting out the fiber at the same time. When I spin with a drop spindle every thing goes much slower. If I find a slub (fat spots) then I can stop and fix it. If the spun fiber seems to have too much twist then I can stop and transfer some twist into the unspun fiber. It’s much harder to troubleshoot these kind of problems when using a wheel.

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