Low-whorl drop spindles often have a simple, straight shaft without a hook to secure the yarn. Spinners have long used a half hitch to secure the yarn to the suspended spindle. This quick backward-loop technique is just ducky—quick, easy to memorize, and adaptable to your hands and spindles. There are two main methods I see people use, but there are many—see what works best for you!
To see this method in action, check out Andean Spinning. You’ll have to rewind the video several times to watch Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez do a half hitch; it’s that fast and fluid!
- After winding your yarn up the spindle shaft almost to the tip. Hold the spindle with your fingers with your thumb an inch or two away from the shaft.
- Wrap the yarn around the front of your spindle shaft and thumb, around to the back, and then between thumb and spindle.
- Place the tip of your thumb against the spindle tip and slip the newly formed loop onto the shaft.
- Pull tight to create a half hitch. Repeat for another half hitch or two if you need more than one to stabilize your spindle.
- Wind your yarn around the spindle shaft a rotation or two and place your index finger under the yarn.
- Move the tip of the spindle down your finger and into the loop that has formed.
- Drop the loop of yarn off your finger and onto the shaft. Pull the loop tight.
I use this method much of the time.
What works best for you?
Published June 7, 2019; updated February 3, 2021.