Introduction: Spinning Yarn With a Turkish Spindle for Beginners

About: As a hobby I post DIY/tutorials on crafting and mechanical builds on YouTube:

Do you wonder how to use a Turkish spindle?

Well.. then this is the instruction for you!


1 complete Turkish spindle

wool for spinning

if ypou need a spindle you can buy one here from us!



Step 1: Video Tutorial!

I made a slow and relaxing video tutorial on how to use a Turkish Spindle. Hope you like it! :)

Step 2: ​Assembly Your Spindle

A Turkish spindle comes with three parts. One larger and one smaller wing. Place the smaller wing inside the hole of the larger one, then place the wings on to the shaft. Our model that you can find a link to at the top of this instruction, has the possibility to both be used as a top-weighted or bottom-weighted spindle!

Step 3: ​Start the Thread

I usually take a hand long piece of wool when spinning. To start the thread I grab a piece and pull out slightly, how much to pull is described later in the instruction!

Start twisting the wool between your fingers. When added enough twist to the wool pull out some more and keep doing this until you have a long enough pice to attach it to the spindle. The length required depends on the model of spindle you have. but around 50cm will be good for many models.

Step 4: ​Attach the Tread to the Spindle and How to Wind the Thread

Place the thread under one of the wings and hold it there with your thumb. Then you need to do four "under and overs" to allow the thread to lock itself to the spindle.

The "under and over" is a pattern that you need to follow to make the ball of yarn and will be used for the whole process of spinning your yarn. It is quite easy to do as well! Simply always goes across two of the arms and then go under one, over two arms, under one. It is also displayed in the video! :)

Step 5: Attach the Thread to the Shaft

When your thread is attached to the shaft I use a half stroke knot. I take two fingers pointing downwards. Then wrap the string around my fingers. Then pointing upwards and placing the shaft between my fingers and the thread. Pulling my fingers out and the tread attached to the ball of wool will make it stick to the shaft.

Step 6: Spin!

To know what direction to spin your yarn is quite simple. Simply hold the tread and allow the spindle to turn freely. The direction it starts to spin is the way it wants to unwrap itself. So simply spin the other way!

If you have a hard time both spinning and pulling out material at the same time in the beginning you can simply place the spindle to your body. give it a few seconds of spinning, place it against your body, and then pull out some material.. repeat.

When pulling material it is important that the spin is not running up into the ball of wool. To prevent this I hold the yarn and wool with my thumb as shown in the picture and giving it a 90-degree turn.

I pull material with my left hand and hold the material with my right. When I grab the yarn with my left I release the right hand (sins the left will prevent the spin to reach the wool), allowing me to drag out some more material with my right. Then placing my right thumb back and releasing my left to allow the spin to reach the new material.

If the thread breaks (as it will do many times in the beginning) simply place some unspun material onto the yarn and give it a twist.

Step 7: How Far Should I Pull the Wool?

Different material has a different length of its fibers. A good length to pull is simply to pull until it just starts to thin out. It's quite hard to show in pictures and in written text, but it's well shown in the video!

But try to grab some material and start to pull, you will see that nothing happens the first 1cm or so, but after some length, it starts to get thinner, that's too far.

Not pulling far enough will crat bulky parts of your yar, and pulling too far will make it too thin and a higher risk of not holding together.

Your yarn will not be perfect. But keep it or try to use it! You have probably created something that thous who has spun for many years trying to relearn... effect yarn! The more equal yarn will come with time, but it is really hard to learn to do thicker and uneven yarn later when you try to advance!

If it is not used before, you can always bring it back later and remember the lovely time you made your first yarn!

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