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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. As I do a lot of spindle spinning when I’m on the train or in front of the television, I sit.

  2. I do both, depending on where I am when I’m spinning. It never occurred to me I should not be able to do either.

  3. Both.
    I learned while sitting at a table, securing the single, drafting, and then sitting to spin and winding off and laying it on the table again.
    Nice and slow, no way I could “drop” it.
    Now I spin sitting down or standing, it tends to be sitting down in airports and places like that, but standing up at home because I do it in the five minutes here and there while the dinner cooks etc.

  4. When I first learned, I could only spindle standing up. But now I can spindle sitting or standing or laying on the end of the bed etc. It was easier to learn standing because I didn’t have to worry about the spindle hitting anything nearby other than my legs. Sitting, there could be other obstacles that would only make learning more difficult.

  5. Yes, and yes. The caveat is what fiber am I spinning and which spindle am I using? Some spindles want LOTS of room for very long draw before winding back on. Those spindles work best when I’m standing, or sitting on a tall stool with lots of rooms to raise my arms above my head. Some spindles need more park-and-draft and not so much length. These I can use in a normal chair, just sitting sideways to allow the spindle to drop next to me, or just “in my lap” for spinning. When spinning linen threads, I *have* to sit at an open space that can get wet (like a cleared desk) so I can draft up from the desk, distaff to the side, and water bowl at my fingertips.

  6. I do both. I prefer standing as it means a longer time before I have to wind on. Recently I bought my first low-whirl spindle and for whatever reason I prefer sitting for that, and it has something to do with winding on; just not clear what exactly.

  7. I’m fairly new to spindle spinning, so I’m still figuring out what works for me. In general, I found it’s easier for me right now if I stand up. I have a hard time spindle spinning while sitting, for reasons that I’m not sure I understand yet.

  8. Yes and yes. I think it took me a bit of practice to want to spin while standing, ’cause I didn’t have as handy a place to park the spindle, but I think the two brief lessons I had the day I bought my spindle (one seated, one standing) prevented me from thinking one of them was “right”.

  9. I dunno, can you walk and chew gum at the same time? πŸ˜‰
    I usually spin sitting down. But I ply standing up so I can get more done before I have to wind on. Plying is a bit boring IMO.

  10. I spindle-spin both ways, but I prefer standing up, just because I can make a lot more yarn before I have to wind it onto the spindle. I really only sit down when I’m too tired to stand any more, or when I’m forced to sit, such as in a car.

  11. I always spin standing up because it allows me to spin a longer amount before I have to wind on. Sometimes if I’m spinning thinner yarn I sit down just in case the single breaks (I don’t want the spindle to have too far to fall.) When I started spinning I was definitely sitting because I was one of those “park and draft” types. I just think spinning while standing can get more done in a shorter amount of time.

  12. I’ve never even thought about it. My first reaction is of course I can spindle both sitting down and standing up. I don’t remember anyone telling me you couldn’t spindler sitting down or standing up. Though I have to admit, using a navaho spindle standing up would be harder for me than using it sitting down.

  13. I haven’t been spinning very long and only know how to park and draft, so I sit. I’d love to be able to stand someday, but just don’t think I will ever be a talented spinner!

  14. yes and yes. though my preference is to spin while sitting on a tall kitchen chair so I get the comfort of sitting with the distance to the floor of standing.
    and if in mid-spin when yelled for by the kiddos or DH, I’ve been known to walk while letting the spindle continue its spin.

  15. I learned to spin a few years ago, but still consider myself completely unpracticed, and it never occurred to me you couldn’t do it both ways (probably because you see so many examples online both ways). I tend to sit on a stool and spin so I can lean the spindle away from my legs and have plenty of elbow room. I think it just seems weird to me to stand in my living room for extended periods of time πŸ™‚

  16. I learned standing up, and that’s how I prefer. I’m short to begin with, and sitting down just shortens the amount of time I can spin before winding on. Plus, I’m much more likely to bang into things or get tangled in everything if I’m sitting down. If I’m standing up I can hold things a bit away from my body.

    I am attracted by the idea of a Spindolyn, and would want to sit down using it, I’m guessing. But for drop spindles, standing up works best for me.

  17. When I first started out I sat down, because I found it easier to park the spindle that way. When I became more confident I started standing up more and usually just sit when I need to join more fibre (again, I find it easier to park the spindle for this as necessary). So, now I stand most of the time unless I’m tired (at which point I’m more likely to lean against the couch than actually sit), and sometimes I even wander around while spinning. Sitting down, I end up with my arm way up over my head, trying to get more length out of that bit of the single – and then my arm and shoulder are sore the next day!

  18. When I spin with a spindle I do so standing up. I have developed this preference because I want to spin, as in draft, not keep stopping and starting to wind on. Spinning while sitting down doesn’t allow me a long enough draft time. I don’t like the disruption, and while I know spinning on a spindle involves all steps, not just drafting, I really don’t like losing my mental trancing with the fiber so frequently. This personality quirk is one of the biggest reasons I prefer wheel spinning to spindle spinning in the first place.

    However, when I’m teaching, I tell students to spin however they feel comfortable. The important part is the spinning, not my personal preference.

  19. Standing for suspended spinning, sitting (mostly) for park-and-draft. This has as much to do with the configuration of my work space (in my living room) as with anything else; there’s too much around the couch for seated spinning to work out very well.

  20. I learned the park and draft method of spinning, so I learned seated. Now, it depends on what I am spinning and what mood I am in. Long fibers that are “easy” to spin I often spin standing up. Shorter fibers that require more twist and, for me at least, more concentration, I often spin sitting.

  21. I do both, depending on how I’m feeling, whether my feet are sore, and whether I’m riding in a bumpy moving vehicle.

    But my favourite place to spin is on a bar stool.

  22. I mostly spindle spin standing because I mostly spindle spin when walking. And walking while sitting is hard.

    When I’m at knit night and spinning, I alternate, because I get annoyed at how close the floor is, but sitting is nice.

  23. I spin sitting, standing and half lying down on the couch. I can’t quite manage to draft fully lying down. I’ve tried, but it just doesn’t work… easier to knit if I need to be flat on my back due to illness.

    I strongly *prefer* standing. I like moving and walking around while I spin. If I want to spin while sitting and make sure I’ll stay sitting, it’s better to work in a supported or semi-supported style. The more I work in a suspended mode, the harder it is for me to stay put. (probably is the ADD talking…)

    My first run-ins with real spindle instruction were Connie Delenay and Priscilla Gibson Roberts. Since they both are strong advocates of support spindles, I knew that it’s possible to spin on a spindle both sitting and standing, but you might want to use different work methods. But even with support spindles, there are ways to work while standing, so there’s no real hard and fast rule.

  24. Definitely a stand-and-spinner here. I pretty regularly, though spin off the side of the bed whilst sitting up therein—I guess that’s sitting, huh?

  25. At home, if I’m going to be sitting, it’s probably going to be in a big comfy armchair that lends itself better to wheelspinning (or support spindlespinning, and I did just buy a takhli and am enjoying playing with it).

    Out in public, though, I spin sitting down all the time, usually in harder chairs (folding chairs at knit night, desk chairs at work, subway seats, etc).

    My absolute favorite way to spindle is to half-sit on something that’s mid-thigh height, spread my legs, and go right down the center. The main drawback is my drafting hand usually blocks my view of whoever I’m talking to.

    I also used to spin while walking around my backyard, but now I have a backyard that won’t work for that, so I don’t.

    Um … OK, that’s enough rambling. Can’t say I ever thought you couldn’t sit and spindle, but I definitely thought standing was better. I kind of still do, except that it requires, you know, standing. πŸ˜›

  26. I tend to stand, for the same reason as the Lynn above. I don’t have to stop and wind as often.

    And, except for at a guild meeting where _everyone’s_ doing it, I feel a little silly sometimes, sitting in a chair and constantly raising my hand above my head. I’m attention-seeking enough as it is!

  27. Funny you should ask since I just asked the same question on Ravelry today. I’m not around other spinners to watch. I tend to stand for the same reason as the Lynns–don’t want to stop and wind as often. But I wouldn’t call this relaxing. More than wheel spinning, spindle spinning seems like exercise!

  28. both! depends on where i am, and how i feel. sometimes it depends on what i’m spinning.. i have a little tiger spindle that spins for what seems like days. best to stand up for that one!

  29. When I first learned to spin, I was a park & drafter so I sat for most of my spinning. Once I got the hang of it, I prefered to stand, that way my hands aren’t sore from all the streatching. So I guess the answer to your question is I’m mostly a stander when I spindle spin.

  30. I started spinning standing up. I don’t think I even thought about sitting down at the start. I would do park and draft by parking the spindle between my legs. (I learned on a low whorl with a long shaft)
    No I do both but prefer to stand. I just like being able to get a longer thread done before having to wind on again.
    I recently got a Jenkins spindle that’s rather small, meaning a very short shaft, since it’s a Turkish spindle the shaft length isn’t important for how much yarn can be wound on, but man, I’m used to having the longer shaft to hold on to, now, when I spin to the floor with my other arm stretched up high I have trouble reaching the shaft to give it another twirl *lol* I guess I need more practice on that spindle.
    Also, for a top whorl (I got a Bosworth mini which also has a rather short shaft compared to my regular spindles) I start it on my thigh and since it kind of goes flying when you start it that way I can’t spin sitting down except when I’m not sitting near anything else.

    So, for me it depends on the spindle I’m using. I like to start spinning sitting down, so I can get the starter yarn caught on well enough (I don’t use a bit of yarn, I start by drafting out a bit of fiber, twisting it and attaching it to the spindle, and sometimes it comes off during the first few twirls, so I try to spin the first length sitting down spinning above my lap so the spindle doesn’t drop so far and I can see if the thread will hold or not.

  31. There was no issue wheather to stand or sit when I was learning to spin with a drop spindle. I did both, as the mood struck me (or my back allowed me). I was never a park & drafter, though.

  32. Either/or. I get more length spun when standing, however.

  33. Both by now. I started out with a support spindle and spun sitting down, then I could park and draft using my feet to hold the spindle still while my fingers sorted things out on the top.
    Only when I bought my first top whorl spindle did I learn to spin while standing up or walking around, though that one works fine sitting down too, just have to wind on more often.
    Supported and sitting down is still my favorite when I don’t know how a fiber will react and hold up yet. Makes life easier when you don’t end up with torn off threads constantly.

  34. I can do both, but I much prefer spinning while standing. I’ve done a lot of spinning walking to and from work, and when I’m at home, I’m usually on my wheel.

    I also like being able to spin a lot before winding on, and spinning standing’s the best way for me to do that πŸ™‚

  35. I do both, and I’m not very good at either, haha.

  36. I actually spindle-spin sitting down. When I was learning, I couldn’t draft quickly enough to get any length before the spindle started untwisting, and I found it much easier to overload a few inches of the single with a LOT of twist, hold the spindle between my knees, and then draft.

    BUT, I ply standing or walking around the yard!

  37. Both. I usually do my singles sitting on a kitchen stool, because it’s higher than a regular chair and has no back or arms to limit movement and is conveniently placed at the perfect spot to listen to my stereo, and I tend to ply standing up because it feels like I can get a longer length, although that may be all in my head. But I do alternate, depending on the day and whatever.

  38. I prefer to stand to spindle-spin, always have. I get a better drop before I have to wind on, and maintain a more balanced posture. Also, if sitting in this house, there are usually hounds trying to get on my lap. Standing is way easier than that.

  39. I spindle sitting down or standing up, more or less as the mood strikes me or my arms and legs get tired. If I’m having trouble with it, I’ll probably sit down so I can fall back on park-and-draft, and it’s not out of the question for me to start the spindle while seated, draft out a bit, and then stand up to get more length out of the spin.

    I’m still working on spindling while walking.

  40. I do both, although I prefer to spindle while standing so I can go longer before winding on.

  41. I’m with Georg on this one. And I want to know more–context! I need context!

    p.s. When spinning on my wheel? I tend to sit. πŸ˜‰

  42. Standing. That way I can go for longer before I wind back on! πŸ˜‰

  43. Either. Depends on whether I’m sitting or standing when I pick up the spindle, or if I need to stand in front of the stove to watch water boil. (It makes water boil faster, don’t cha know!) Standing makes it easier for me to thigh roll though.

  44. I do both, but I prefer to stand. I tend to draft a lot before winding on, and if I’m sitting I end up holding my hand above my head. It’s too hard on my shoulder.

  45. Like others in the list above me – yes and yes

    I learnt to spin (sitting down) with a bottom whorl spindle and started to spin while standing when I got a top whorl spindle.

    I also spin while walking around, it helps me to get the stiff joints moving again after sitting for a while.

  46. When I started with park and draft, I sat. As I learned and I could draft longer amounts, eventually I was “parking” the spindle between my feet and stretching my arms above my head before winding on. Naturally this was not terribly comfortable (!) and I finally learned to spin suspended, or without the “parking” part. I don’t actully remember how long this took, it was several years ago… Now I stand almost always.

    Beverly in CA

  47. I have been standing to spin (and now that I figured out what you meant by walking my hands up the yarn, sometimes standing on something tall so I can spin longer before having to wind on). I sit to spin when standing would make me stand out too much, or when I’m tired after a long day on my feet. But I’m not sure why anybody would think there was a requirement to do it one way or another. There are just trade-offs.

    The question reminds me of a knee-jerk reaction I have when somebody asks, “Am I the only person who [insert totally mundane technique here]?” I just want to say “OMG!!! DIDN’T ANYBODY TELL YOU NOT TO DO THAT!?!?!” Like the world will break in to little tiny pieces if you dare to experiment and try out different ways of doing things.

  48. Both. I spin while walking around at guild, mostly because if I spindle spin I can move to talk to people. I spin while sitting waiting for the kids at their lessons or their sports or their appointments…
    I used to only like to spindle spin standing for the “longer between wind-ons” reason, but a couple of years ago I grasped the zen of “it’s all spinning” and quit mentally grumbling over the wind on stage. I like spinning better when I’m not mentally grumbling and winding on is an inevitable part of it. Why spoil the moment?

  49. I do both, but mostly I stand. I’m trying to institute a regime of spinning for better posture, but mostly it backfires since I end up stretching weirdly to get more height/length. Oops.

  50. I do both. I used to only be able to do it standing, because that was how I learned, at a 2 minute quickie lesson at MDS&W. I thought you had to do it standing up to get enough length. But, I’m basically lazy, so eventually I had to sit down.

  51. I do both now. When I started, I felt like I had to sit in order to hold the spindle between my thighs while drafting. I started to spin standing as I got better, and I still really like the thrill of spinning continuously until the spindle reaches the floor.

  52. A better question is “Can you spin while lying down?” and the answer is “Of course!” Standing up is for suckers!

    Kidding, mostly. I stand up if I feel like, sit most of the time because I’m lazy that way, and lay down when I’m using most of my support spindles. The less effort, the better.

  53. Both, of course. Spin in the front seat of a car? Yeah. Spin walking around? Yeah. Spin anywhere.

    It’s true, when I’m using a Navajo spindle I always sit down, although sometimes I spin Navajo-style while sitting on a chair (or in a car) and sometimes while sitting on the ground. Also any tiny spindle that works best for supported spinning usually gets me to sit down (unless it lends itself to akha-style spinning, although I’m more adept at other styles).

  54. Both. Now. I learned to spin sitting down, and that’s what I did. Then I started to stand and spin because a) I could get a longer length of single, and; b) it’s easier on my low back to stand and move around. When I get a copy of your book, I hope to learn various tricks about getting twist into a length of single that is just touching the floor when I’m holding it all at arms length from my body. At this point, I can’t get the twist past my hand.

    I don’t spin when walking because I keep kicking the spindle. And I don’t spin in the car because there’s not enough room between my body and the dashboard. I’m amazed that people can do that.

  55. Both. Fancy spindle, I sit. so it drops in my lap and doesn’t get arsed.
    Non fancy spindles, I stand.
    Plying… my fav is standing so I can whip the spindle and hit people. People like you Abby.

  56. Both ways. I am faster when I stand and rave with a crowd, but that is probably a function of the people, not the spindle.

  57. It depends on what I’m doing. I taught myself to spindle spin while standing in lines at the airport, so I’m very comfortable standing to spin and walking too. (Note I had originally learned to spin on a wheel, so the learning curve was pretty small.) But I will also sit if I’m somewhere where standing would be more disruptive. I also sit to demo/teach it to children. It makes it easier for them to help.

    I don’t spin in the car because there isn’t enough room for my long arms.

  58. I spin both ways. When I want to sit down, I sit down and spin, when I want to stand up I stand up and spin. I don’t use my spindles that much, it seems like I’m currently more often using a spindle as a demo someplace, so I may be standing up so that they can see what I’m doing better. When I’m teaching parents (who are going to be spending the night with their children at a historical site where I volunteer, they’ll be doing “period” things) I’m usually standing up, but some parents never get past the twisty stick stage of spinning. I’ve never thought that I should spin one way or another. In fact, I seem to remember teaching myself to spindle with a CD spindle I put together with stuff around the house, and I was standing on the bed at one point to see how long I could get the yarn before I wound it on the spindle.

  59. I’m a fairly new spindler, too, and started out parking a lot while seated. Lately I’ve skipped the parking step and actually don’t drop the spindle very often any more. Yesterday my sitter got tired and I spun standing up for the first time; it worked fine and seemed faster because of fewer transitions from spinning to winding.

  60. I learned from a “pro” at a spin-in. She taught the park and draft method, so I learned sitting down. I still sit down, but often let it go down to the floor instead of only to my knees. I never stand.

  61. I’ve honestly never gave this any thought. Standing, sitting, walking, talking…it’s all good!

  62. I find it depends on what I want at the time. If I’m looking to just spin for a bit, enjoying myself and relaxing then I tend to spin sitting down. If I want to get through more fiber faster then I stand up since I can spin more before needing to wind on. Taken to its furthest extent, I tend to spin while running when my kids are outside. Whee!

  63. I do both, but I tend to stand, because I like to get in the groove more and spin longer before winding on. I just taught myself to spin, with Ravelry help (including you!) and books, and hadn’t seen much spinning while seated demo’ed. (or much spinning at all, but what I had seen IRL was standing, I guess!)

    But mostly, when I sat while learning, I would just be starting to get the feel of things when I’d have to stop and wind on. Now I’m very comfortable sitting also.

    It surprises me that people ask, though. Why couldn’t you do either? Why would people think that you couldn’t?

  64. When I started, I did it sitting down so that I could more easily use the inchworm method. Now I mostly do it standing up, so that I can spin more fibre before stopping to wind.

  65. When I was taught, I was sitting down, but it annoyed the heck out of me, so I started standing up and walking when learning to spindle spin. I often have stand/pace when I’m learning something ‘difficult’ πŸ™‚

    90% of the time I’ll spindle spin while pacing still and about 10% of the time I’ll sit down while spindle spinning.

    Cheers Eva

  66. Both, ever since the earliest awkward park-and-draft phase. I usually spin sitting down because I’m lazy, but I usually ply standing up, because it just feels easier to get as long a length as possible. If I pick up the spindle for two minutes or less, I usually stand so I can get a longer length before winding on. If I need to park the spindle, I tuck it under my arm.

    And sometimes I spin while walking, too, though haven’t yet taken the spindle outside for fear of dropping it in the dirt!

  67. I learned how to do both and depending on who I’m talking to, one or the other is the wrong way to spindle.

    My theory is, I’m making yarn I like so they can jump in a very cold lake!

    This spindling while walking intriques me, perhaps that will be my next trick!

  68. I prefer to stand. If my feet are tired at the end of the day, I sit. I am practicing walking and spinning so I can spin on the walk to the subway and not lose the spindle or break it on the sidewalk. One mile of walking twice a day = lots of yardage. I think I’ll need to wear a backpack instead of carrying my purse, though.

  69. I do it both ways. It just depends on what I feel like doing. If I get tired of standing, I sit, and vice versa.

  70. It depends, I do both :). I tend to draft lots of fibre first and then spin it up and wind it, so I can get at most a meter of yarn. I haven’t yet perfected the continuous drafting required to spin really long lengths of yarn. A friend says she walks up her staircase while spinning so she can maximise the time spinning before she has to wind it on.

  71. I usually sit while spinning as I like to “catch” the spindle with my feet. But I can and do stand at times. Never ever thought it must be done a certain way. πŸ™‚

  72. I learned standing on a chair!

    But now I’m okay standing or sitting. My favorite is sitting on my in-laws’ front porch because I can sit but still have a long way down.

  73. In the winter time up in the Catskill Mountains of NY, I spin in the car at lunchtime to destress. Otherwise it just depends on what I feel like doing. I’ve demonstrated both ways. Plying seems to go much easier standing. B-

  74. The 2 people who actually use a spindle besides me had spun standing. So I thought I was supposed to learn standing up. But I couldn’t get that “ah hah!” moment til I learned to park and draft, which allowed me to concentrate on the drafting instead of worrying about the inevitable “clunk” I was going to get when the spindle hit the floor. Once I got the drafting down, the standing came without thinking because I started spinning and drafting too long to remain sitting. Now when I teach, I start my victims with park and draft and concentrate on the drafting and stand up to continue spinning and then winding on and don’t even mention the standing part to them and have noted they’ll simply start standing up on their own so they continue the drafting, too. Finally, they conclude they can actually remain standing and stop popping up and down. It seems to improve their confidence and give them a big boost to realize they’re suddenly spinning standing up without a big hassle of my trying to demo it. Maybe that’s cheating but hey, it’s working so far.

  75. i mainly spin sitting down as i have M.E and standing still for exstended periords kills my energy levels, but am perfectly able to spin standing, havent quite cracked spinning while walking yet though

  76. Actually, now that you’ve got me paying attention, I’ve noticed I do a LOT of my spindle spinning while seated. Matter moves toward chaos; I, apparently, move towards sitting on my ass if at all possible. πŸ˜›

    I also wheelspun while lying down, once, but it required more energy to keep my arms up than to sit, so I didn’t try it again.

  77. Well, I’ve only been spinning since early February, but I spin both seated and standing, and will move from one to the other according to the demands of my bad knees (and other bits) that demand changes of position.

    I tried spinning at a wheel, and found it problematic because I couldn’t just stand up and keep spinning when the pain said ‘get up and move’.

  78. Both. I find my back starts to hurt when sitting down. And I can maintain much better posture when standing so I often stand to spindle spin.

    When I started I sat mostly. But I’m not sure I ever thought I had to. Easier to grab it with your knees to regain control though.

  79. I learned to spindle sitting down. It made the “park” part of the park and draft easier. πŸ™‚ I never believed that I couldn’t spindle however I wanted to. I don’t think remember anyone in particular telling me that it could or couldn’t be done one way or the other. It just made intuitive sense that I could if I wanted to. However, it required enough time until I developed the necessary skills to get past the ‘park’ part so that I could spindle standing up. I still prefer spindling while sitting down. I tell myself it’s because I like the shorter length and winding on more versus possibly breaking and dropping the spindle, but really it’s likely that I’m just a lazy spinner.

  80. I started out only spinning while standing. I thought I “needed” the height from arm to floor to get enough yarn spun to make it worth my while to spin it!

    I’ve since started spinning cotton on an akha spindle and have discovered that it’s ok to sit and spin–my lap is an ok support for the spindle. Now I can spin wool while seated as well. πŸ™‚

  81. I’m a newish spinner and I can spin standing up, a little. I’m not working at it because sitting down is easier on my back right now. Maybe after it gets better I’ll do more spinning afoot, but I kind of doubt it. I am really enjoying spinning, and I’m not in a hurry to finish a bit of wool, because then I’d have to get more.
    I’d love to have a wheel, too, and may get one for a Birthday/Christmas gift. But I’m torn as well, because it might move things along too fast.
    I’d still use my spindles, though, because they’re relaxing. They’re also silent and when I can’t sleep, I can use them for stealth spinning without waking my husband.

  82. (I can’t believe no one’s given this answer yet.)

    No, you can’t do either. People used to be able to, but it’s too complicated to learn now.

  83. As many others have said – I can do both. It all depends on how I’m feeling – sitting is maybe more relaxing? but standing lets me go longer at a single go which is nice and rhythmic.

  84. I do both. When standing I can spin longer without stopping. I sit when I am spinning in places like drs. offices, or when in meetings. More discreet that way!

  85. I taught myself to spin with internet videos and written descriptions – park and draft looked easiest for a beginner, so that’s where I started. Sitting down, at first parking between my knees, then my feet.
    I can spindle standing up, but I still prefer sitting – easier on my back.

  86. Yes.

  87. Obviously there is no right or wrong to this question, but I decided to chime in with my experience. When I first started spindling, I could only do so standing. I also ended up with a stiff neck and sore fingers. Quite clearly, the process did not begin as a relaxing one for me. Now I can sit to spindle or stand, and I love the way it helps me to de-stress.

    This is an interesting question. I think I am about to try to help someone who just bought two drop spindles. I do not know that I am much of a teacher, but I love to share the fiber love.

  88. I learned to spindle sitting down, and I still find it easier that way as I can park the spindle with my knees. I haven’t practiced enough to be really comfortable with my control of the spindle. I did once see photos of someone sitting on top of a fridge spinning because it allowed more space before having to wind on…

  89. I can do either, but prefer sitting, simply because the distance to the floor is a good length for me to wind on. If I go longer, I have a tendency to get those nasty little kinks going, and sometimes the single breaks when I’m trying to get it worked back out.

  90. Either. For drop spindles: Standing is more efficient. If my feet are tired, I sit, preferably on a tall stool.

    For support spindles: I prefer sitting on a bed or beside a table where I can draft supported, then give a good twirl and add extra twist suspended.

    It’s more efficient to add the extra twist suspended, since there’s less friction at the base of the spindle. It also makes a denser, less fuzzy cotton yarn. I learned this from a takli book from India. I don’t know if you remember, but I talked to you a little about this book at the end of the Gathering in the fall.

  91. Both. And walking. I tend to sit to spin, but that’s because standing for long periods is painful for me. When I learned to spin quite a long time ago the only spindle available was that big heavy Shacht spindle. It took real concentration to to get enough twist in the the yarn to keep it from breaking with the weight of the spindle.

    What I had a problem with was plying on a spindle. The person who taught me to spin only knew how to ply on a wheel. It took me a while to figure that one out. But I actually prefer plying on a spindle to wheel plying.

  92. I never would have taken up spinning if I thought I couldn’t do it in any position that was comfortable. In fact, that’s why I resisted the wheel for so long: you have to *sit*, in one place.

    That said, I’ve found that different types of spindle are more comfortable in different positions. A tiny top whorl is most portable for me (any position but lying down), the tahkli or bead whorl least so (I have to be sitting, with the bowl on a hard surface at exactly the right height.) And since I lie around a lot, I keep a couple of of projects on Russian spindles by the couch.

  93. I do both, but I prefer spinning standing up, because it allows me to spin more before winding it onto the shaft. When I was first learning, I was mostly park and draft, so I did it sitting down. And of course, if I’m working with a supported spindle, I’m sitting down also.

  94. Both. If I’m sitting, I sit. If I’m standing, I stand. If I’m walking, I walk (I can’t spin laying down, though. Can’t do it while jumping rope either).

  95. I sit when I am spinning on the drop spindle, but also stand when I am tired of sitting! So…either way is good for me!

  96. Hi Abby.

    1. I stand while spindle spinning. I like to stand in general whenever I get the chance. Feels good to stretch the arms and legs.
    2. I learned to spin on my knees, close to the floor, so that I could build up twist then set down the spindle and watch the twist go up the fiber as I drafted out. Would be happy to share with you who teaches kneeling at the beginning. I worked nicely, I was up and standing in no time.
    3. I didn’t have a strong opinion on sitting or standing, just that everyone I watched spin stood up, so once I got the hang of things I stood up too.
    4. Over time? Yes, I may very well learn to spin while sitting, espcially as I am looking at a long transAtlantic flight soon and would like to be able to spin on the plane.


  97. so I never thought it had to be one way or the other. But i find that I prefer to sit and spindle a lot more than standing. I do stand some. I find some fibers are easier to spin standing and others are more fun sitting. perhaps that is odd.

  98. I learned sitting, it was a small space! I ended by standing, I can draft longer, and can see the spindle spinning around more easily.

  99. I do both, depending on where I am, space, what’s going on around me, etc. Never occurred to me that anyone might think it was one or the other (until now).

  100. I spin standing up.
    I spin a little bit sitting down.
    Im very short so it is much easier,
    for me to spin standing.
    Id like to be able to spin both ways.
    There is no one near me to teach me,and i dont venture out much alone outside my general area.
    so I dont attend guilds.

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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!

  104. 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.

  105. 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.

  106. 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.

  107. 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.

  108. 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…)

  109. 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.

  110. Short answer to both questions –
    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!

  111. i do both. i’m more apt to sit while spinning (sit and spin? πŸ˜€ ), 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.

  112. 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.

  113. 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.

  114. 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.

  115. 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.

  116. 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 πŸ™

  117. 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.

  118. 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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