So you would like to learn how to spin your own yarn, where do you start? A good way to begin is with a spindle. You can make a spindle easily with materials on hand and readily accessible. These CD spindles are not the best, but they are fine to learn with. There are two types you can use, a bottom whorl and a top whorl.

The whorl is the disk on the spindle that makes it spin well. It is basically a gyro on a stick. When then spindle is spun the disk regulates and balances the spindle, similar to how a bicycle works.

To build your own spindle from CDs you will need the following items.

 Materials Needed for CD Spindle

  1. A dowel - size is not super important but I recommend 5/16" or 3/8" for the dowel. For those of you who use metric this is about 8 to 9.5 mm in diameter. It should also be over one foot or 30 cm in length.
  2. Cup hooks or wire that can be bent into a hook, if you wish to use one. You can just make a notch in the shaft and use a half hitch if you don't have a hook on hand.
  3. Two CDs - although many free CDs come in the mail, I prefer to use good heavy ones. I use those that I buy in bulk for burning stuff.
  4. You can purchase rubber grommets at electrical supply stores, auto parts stores or farm stores. You need to choose one that matches the size of your dowel, so the inside diameter should be 5/16" ( or 8mm) 3/8" (9.5mm) and the outside diameter should be 3/4 " (19mm).
  5. Electrical tape - if you couldn't find the exact grommet you needed you can add some tape to the shaft of your spindle to enlarge it a bit.
  6. A serrated knife or small saw and scissors.

With a serrated knife or small saw cut the dowel to be about 12 inches long or 30 cm.

You will notice the grommet has a groove in the middle, this is what holds the CDs tightly.

Take your rubber grommet and smash and cram it into the center of both CDs. You will have to work at it. You want the inside edges of the CD to go into the groove in the grommet, and this will take some serious persuasion.

Close Up to a Grommet

Gommet Secured

Once you have manhandled and forced the grommet into the center of the cd, slide your dowel inside. If you were lucky enough to get a grommet that was just the right size you're done! If not take your electrical tape and start wrapping it around carefully (lining up the edges) until it looks big enough, cut it off and try sliding the CDs on. You want a nice snug fit so keep adding layers of tape until it is nice and stable and not slipping.

Insert Cup Hook

If you don't have a cup hook, you can just cut a small notch in the end of the dowel, and use a half hitch knot to secure the end of the yarn. Or you can drill a small hole and insert a wire that has been bent. Glue it in place and let dry. Be sure your wire is stiff enough!

Attach a Leader

One last thing to do then you can spin! Take a piece of yarn or string and tie it firmly below the whorl on the shaft. Snip the other end off and leave a nice long piece, I usually leave about 24 inches or 60 cm.

Wind this around the shaft below the whorl, and then also above the whorl and through the hook.

 All Finished