I’ve read several places that it is useful to have a wristaff/wrist distaff for spindle spinning. A wrist distaff is a tool which sits on your wrist and hangs down, on which you can coil your strip of roving or fibre. This keeps the fibre organised and away from the spinning spindle. It takes about two minutes for the beginning spindler to see the attraction of this gadget, when the loosely flapping roving is sucked into the path of the spindle and you end up with a huge cloud of fibre half attached to the single. I have seen some wristaffs that are knit or crocheted, but I thought the fibre would easily get stuck on those. Then I saw an ingenious solution on Spinning Spider Jenny’s blog. She’s using a yarn keeper bracelet as a distaff. The piece holding the yarn (or in this case, fibre) rotates, so the fibre feeds off easily. It’s slick, so the fibre slides well, but the arms keep the fibre from sliding to the floor. The yarn keeper bracelet is available online, but I’m impatient and loth to spend money on shipping from the US. A trip to the hobby store later, and voila (or “woe la”, as I recently saw it spelled on a blog):


The wire is not quite as large-gauge as in the original, so it looks a little fragile, but the wire is holding up surprisingly well. I’m amazed at how well it works. Not only does it eliminate the risk of my fibre being “snarfled” (that sounds like it should be a word, doesn’t it) up by the spindle, but my wrist is so much more relaxed and rested when I have less fibre wrangling to do. Also, I can spin longer lengths of roving, because I can fill up the distaff with more roving than I could hold on my arm.

In case you want to make it, I used a pack of 0.8 mm silverplated wire (my pack holds ten metres, but you won’t need nearly that much), four Czech glass beads, a swivel hook, some universal glue and a pair of jewellery-making pliers.