Spindle Spinning: Three Ways to Add a Leader

Learn three ways to add a leader to your top- and bottom-whorl spindles.

Tiffany Warble Feb 15, 2024 - 3 min read

Spindle Spinning: Three Ways to Add a Leader Primary Image

Go beyond the basics to harness the power of these small but mighty tools and spin the yarn of your dreams! Photos from Spindle Spinning Essentials Video

The first time I picked up a spindle, it was already set up and ready to use. It was part of a beginner kit, and the spindle came with a leader tied on, so I just joined my fiber and started spinning. A few months later, at SOAR 2023 last October, I talked to one of the class instructors about my desire to try a different spindle. My beginner spindle was great for the basics, but I wanted to refine my practice and branch out. They lent me one of their spindles (lucky me!), and I headed home from the event to try it out.

When I got home, I realized the spindle didn’t have a leader, and attaching one wasn’t something I had learned yet. Does that ever happen to you? You didn’t realize what you didn’t know until it was suddenly right there?

Thankfully, Devin Helmen, the instructor who lent me their spindle, is also the instructor of our new video course, Spindle Spinning Essentials. In the course, the remarkable and talented Devin shares oodles of tips and tricks for spindle spinning, including a short chapter on adding a leader.

instructor holding a drop spindle and showing how to add a leader

Though adding a leader sounds simple, watching this lesson got me off to a great start. Not only did I learn how to attach a leader using some of my stash yarn, but I also found out exactly how to spin a leader from the fiber I was about to use if I didn’t have any yarn on hand. Devin makes it seem effortless, and I am pleased to say I’ve tried both methods successfully. Since I found this a big help, I wanted to share the entire lesson with you! Here’s the chapter from Devin’s course on getting started and adding a leader.

I love Devin’s thought process for testing techniques, and they’ve spent years trying different approaches to find out what works. Now, Devin teaches around the country and shares their knowledge with fellow spinners, including long draw on the spindle, which is the next stop on my spinning journey! If refining your skills is the next stop on your spinning journey, you’ll love Devin’s skill-building course.

Happy spinning,

Tiffany Warble is a newish spinner and oversees content and digital strategy for Long Thread Media. She is a life-long creative with a continuing love for all fiber arts.