Adjusting a spindle hook

When you get a new spindle or if your favourite spindle has been knocking about for a while you may need to bend the hook a tiny bit to optimize your spin. How do you know if you need to do this? If the spindle doesn’t spin smoothly, if it wobbles a lot or if it feels like its thumping you need to check it. You should notice a big difference when the hook is positioned just right.

Put a leader on your spindle that is about the same thickness as the yarn you are going to make. You’ll probably need a pair of pliers although you may be able to bend the hook with just your fingers, depending on what it’s made out of. Bend the hook gently and slowly, a bit at a time, testing the spin as you go.

Step 1

Drawing of two spindles. the left one has the hook tilted too far back and the right one is goodGive the spindle a good spin and hold it up so you can look at it from the side and see what shape the yarn and hook make. You want to see the yarn above the hook to appear as a single line that does not move. If the hook is out of adjustment the yarn will move around in a circle.

The yarn always passes through the hook at its highest point. You need to adjust the hook so that the highest point is over the centre of the spindle. In the drawing the spindle hook is tilted backwards so the highest point of the hook is not over the centre of the spindle. The hook needs to be bent slightly forwards until it looks like the drawing on the right.

Step 2

Drawing of two spindles. The left one has the hook straight up and down. The right one has the hook tilted to the left so the yarn comes straight up the centre line of the spindleHold up the spindle and look at it from the back of the hook. The yarn should come off the hook lined up with the centre of the spindle. You may need to tilt the hook to make this happen. If you merely line up the hook straight up and down the yarn will be offset from the centre. You can also see that if you normally spin thick yarn the hook may need to be tilted more than if you like to spin thin yarn.

When your hook is tilted like this you must always bring the yarn through the hook from the same side. If you put it through the hook the other way it will be even worse than having the hook straight. If your spindle suddenly seems to be misbehaving check and make sure you are passing the yarn the correct way through the hook.