So I'm planning on taking my Kromski Minstrel and a whole basket load of prepared fleece with me to the Cotswolds for Spring Break. I haven't been spinning for a while, too busy weaving away.

Anyway to the point. Someone commented that I draft "backwards", not meaning a backward draw, but meaning my dominant hand position was opposite what they were expecting. We ended up discussing a variety of different things, ut didn't much elaborate on this. So I'm asking you all, where to you position your dominant hand for spinning, on the fibre supply or near the wheel (as in the hand that controls when the twist is let in to the drafting zone). Is there a reason why. It may not ultimately matter, but in these things I wouldn't mind being a conformist and would consider doing it the other way if I should.

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts on this matter.

Have a great day,




I'm more or less ambidextrous, although my left hand got half-crushed in a horse-related accident and is not as functional as it once was.   Still, I write English with my right hand, so it might be considered dominant. 

I position my left hand by the wheel and draft with my right.  I learned on a "drop" spindle, and this is how I was taught.  It's way more convient to use this hand position on a great wheel, and even on a Saxony wheel if starting and stopping frequently.  On a castle wheel it makes no difference.

At least one other member of our guild who also learned on spindles also is frequently told this, and she is a spinning teacher (though I met her decades after I learned).

Before you ask, she and I generally use single-treadle wheels, although I have both.  I switch feet on long spinning days.

Erica J

Thank you! This is good to know. I might hav3e a go at moving my dominant hand to the drafting position and see how it goes. If I've built up too much muscle memory spinning the other way I'll just go with it. I tend to "spin" backwards in terms of twist and ply direction anyway! :)


right handed and tend to draft with my right hand and hold the fiber in my left hand. I just find it more comfortable this way. However, I often ply with on both sides of my body and using both hands at times to hold the singles I am plying. Did that make sense? I use my drop spindle the same way - right hand drafting, left holding the fiber.

nancy3terrific (not verified)

I spin with my left hand and draft with my right. Same deal when I ply - the left hand is closest to the orphice and right controls the 2 threads. Just my 2 cents.


i can only afford hand spindles...i hold the fibre with my left hand and spin the spindle with my dominant hand...the right  hand. i am self taught with the spinning...i love it because it is so relaxing...except cotton...that is a bit more difficult...i have cotton from india and cotton sliver from the states...i find the cotton from india is easier with my takli...but the natural green and brown sliver is difficult to get into a rhythm...but you know the old saying..practice, practice, practice.. Smile




I am a right handed and when spinning I hold the fiber with my right hand and have my left hand closest to the wheel. I don't think there is a right or wrong way, since you can buy saxony wheels with the orifice on the right or left depending on how you spin.

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