I have been away on vacation, enjoying some incredibly great weather in Florida and visiting my parents, so I haven't been able to post here lately. However, right before I left for my trip, I spent a half hour attempting to spin on my drop spindle again (my way of relaxing before the flight). I decided to try to use some Romney fiber that I had instead of the Malabrigo Nube Merino fiber I had been using. I remembered that when I was learning to spin on my wheel, the Romney had been a little easier to pre-draft and to draft while spinning. It isn't as pretty as the Malabrigo since it is a blend of natural colors, but it was much easier for me to handle. As I worked on my drafting technique with the Romney, I felt like I had a lot more control and that I had more time to draft before the twist got away from me. I have since read in Abby Franquemont's Respect the Spindle: Spinning Infinite Yarns with One Amazing Tool that "Coopworth, Romney, Corriedale, and Bluefaced Leicester are excellent wool choices for a new spinner." This certainly seemed to hold true for me because the Romney is making a huge difference.
Another element that seems to have assisted me in making some progress is the park and draft technique. Both Abby Franquemont and Pricilla Gibson-Roberts in Spinning in the Old Way suggest using this technique when one is first learning in order to get the hang of drafting. I found it to be very helpful to me and even now that I am able to spin with the drop spindle suspended in air, I notice that if I feel out of control, I can simply park it between my knees to finish off the drafting. Now I am beginning to see why drop spindling is so appealing to so many people. I have a feeling that I might really take to the spindle more and more over time, which makes me wonder if my poor wheel will continue to gather more and more dust. Only time will tell.
I promise to post some pictures of my progress soon once I get back into my groove after being away. It is also tax time of year, so I might have to focus on that rather than my glorious fiber pursuits for a few days! :(
Happy knitting, crocheting, and spinning!