So here’s a question

I’m hearing two questions asked a lot lately, and I’m intrigued about them, so I figure it’s time to Ask The Blog. Are you ready? Okay, the first question is:

“Can you spin with a spindle while you’re standing up?”

and the second one is:

“Can you spin with a spindle while you’re sitting down?”

So I’d love to hear from you: how do you do it, and why? When you were starting out, did you strongly believe you had to do it one way or the other? Do you remember why you may have thought that? Has your opinion on the subject changed over time?

118 thoughts on “So here’s a question

  1. Hmm. I’ve never questioned “can I?” — it’s more just “what do I want to do today?” Usually I end up spinning standing, because then I can spin longer before winding on.

  2. Yes, and yes.
    I almost always stand, because I like the movement of spinning while standing, and the length I can get with full extension of arms. I sit down if I’m doing something tricky (whispersimakeartyarncough) or if I’m in public, but I prefer standing.

    This has less to do with how I learned than what I like. I prefer standing and moving to sitting, in general. That’s one reason I’m glad to work on spindles rather than a wheel.

  3. I do both. It depends on where I am honestly. If I am riding in the car or waiting for someone, I spin while sitting. If I am going someplace and walking (ie. Md Sheep & Wool) I spin while walking.
    I guess you could say I am an Opportunistic Spinner!

  4. I often spin when I’m tired or stressed. It relaxes me. So I generally sit. If the spindle has a long shaft I like to stand and I stand mostly when plying unless I’m tired then I sit even to ply. I was given a five minute lesson when I bought my spindle and we stood but it never occurred to me that some people might have rules about sitting or standing. I did wonder however about which hand to use for drafting. I draft with right hand and attend to the spindle with my left. I think most people do it the other way around but this is getting off topic.

  5. To be honest I never thought about not spinning with a drop spindle standing up, or sitting down, I just do it what ever way is convenient at the time I pull out my spindle. I’ve even been know to spindle while walking. I never stopped to think about it.

  6. I spin while sitting because I can spindle spin and read at the same time. No other real reason aside from, probably, utter laziness. If I’m somewhere where I’m standing and I want to spin, I spin standing too.

  7. I always assumed that one had to be sitting in order to do the Navajo Spindle – either in a chair or on the floor, and in a chair for support spindling. I was surprised to see a youtube video of a woman spinning on a support spindle which was supported on a little wooden dealy which was something like a spoon, only thicker in every way, and it was attached to her belt. Way cool. (The spindle was rather small, to my definition of “small spindle” vs “large spindle.”)

    I’ve never thought about drop spindling though – I always just assumed that the spinner would sit or stand, as she desired. I never thought that it was one way or the other. I prefer to stand, but it’s because I prefer to stand for just about anything. Sitting hurts my back.

  8. it depends…i taught myself to spin using park and draft, so i found sitting easier for that. if i’m using a drop spindle, i mostly stand (because i’m so short that if i didn’t, the spindle would reach the floor almost immediately). if i’m using a supported spindle, i like to sit (unless there’s a flat surface at a convenient height…)

  9. I spin sitting with a small spindle in small spaces and walking around if there is room. Can twirl spindle between feet and let it go swinging if there is a lot of room. No rules.

  10. Short answer to both questions –
    Yes!
    With most fibre that I spin, I prefer standing, for a longer ‘drop’ before winding on… But if I’m spinning a trickier fibre, one that take more effort to draft correctly, then sitting is much preferred!

  11. i do both. i’m more apt to sit while spinning (sit and spin? 😀 ), but i get up and stand when my shoulder or butt gets tired. i also find it much easier to ply when i’m standing. i’m a very new spinner and i’m trying not to get myself into ruts or impose limitation on my spinning, just do what feels comfortable and right for me.

  12. Another in the both category. I usually spin sitting down because I can’t stand still for long without discomfort. Sitting and spindling doesn’t seem to be much of a problem as I generally spindle spin fine yarns. That cuts down on how quickly I have to wind on. I don’t care much for sitting and spinning thick yarns.

  13. The answer to both questions is “yes”. I was standing when I learned to spin on a spindle. I remember sitting while spinning on a spindle later that day. I don’t remember anyone talking about either position being being about anything except comfort.

    I don’t walk while spinning on a spindle, but that has more to do with me being a clutz than anything else.

  14. I rarely spindle while standing because I have a neurological balance and motor skill issues that I was born with that makes standing while spinning very difficult and tiring.

    So, I spindle spin while sitting.

    I had to learn that way, sitting down, or I probably couldn’t have learned at all. I assumed I would always have to sit.

    However, now I can also spin while walking, and I really like that. I find it very enjoyable and much easier than spinning while standing still.

  15. Yes and yes. I learned to spin with a spindle sitting down with my, er, thighs readily available for park and draft. Then I stood up and indulged in the full stretch spindle dance. I prefer standing as it gives me a longer drop, an easier thigh roll and it just feels more extended/relaxed, but I’ve also used a spindle for 2 hours on the train with only a foot or two of drop. Frustrating, but better than no spinning at all.

  16. I could spin on a spindle every which way, before my wrists crapped out on me…now I can’t use a spindle for more than about 5 min, because the flicking motion REALLY irritates my wrist and I suck at thigh-rolling 🙁

  17. A couple years ago when I first learned it was with a cd spindle, park and draft, sitting down. Figured it’s the only way, since it was my introduction to any kind of spinning.
    I’ve gotten a couple nice spindles since then.
    Now I stand, or sit on the table in my sewing/spinning/whatever room if I’m feeling ….. like being more comfortable. I prefer to stand so I can get more spun before winding on.
    I use a bottom-whorl, and do the finger flick to get it going.

  18. I spin sitting down,top whorl, usually, though I can spin standing up. I ply standing up to get more room, or more usually, with my heavy navajo spindle, sitting down, but since I got my s10 wheel, and finally tried plying my spindle spun singles on it, Ive been plying with that. I like my spindle spun yarn better than the wheel spun, but I expect that is due to inexperience with the wheel. I spin sitting down because my knees hurt.

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