Simple DIY Wrist Distaff


It was Saturday and I was following my usual springtime routine of staying inside to avoid as much foul pollen as possible while also enjoying the internet. My routine may be simple but it works for me. During one of the many internet enjoyment portions of the day, I was catching up on Twitter when someone linked to a blog post about basic spinning vocabulary from Clean Cup, Move Down. Reading through the post, which is solid and worth reading if you’re new to spinning or need a refresher, inspired me to pull out a neglected spinning project

I had no problem with the single, the spindle, or the wool except that I put them away and promptly forgot about them. The spinning was wonderful and kept me inside and away from the pollen which is always a bonus. Also, I like to pace while I’m spinning and the roving was still long enough that I had to be careful not to step on it. I know I could torn off a chunk but I don’t want to join any more than I have too. It was at this point that I remembered such a thing called a distaff exists and I went back to the internet to figure out how to make one work for me. Distaffs, at least in relation to spinning, are cleft staffs which hold large quantities of wool or flax ready for spinning with a spindle. Not quite what I needed. Turns out that what I was looking for was a variation, called the wrist distaff, which is worn on the arm opposite the drafting hand. Most wrist distaffs hold just a few grams of fiber though and I wanted to have room for much more. The solution was simple.


All you need for a simple wrist distaff is a drawstring bag with ties long enough to fit around your arm. The bag should be large enough to hold a few ounces of fiber and the spindle. I’m using a Pretty Cheep project bag but any drawstring bag will work. Just put the roving or top into the bag so that it can easily feed out a little at a time. When it’s time to spin, take the fiber and spindle out of the bag, hang said bag from your arm, and get spinning.

Now you can pace to your heart’s content or go spinning in public. Plus, when you’re finished spinning, just put the spindle in the bag are you’re good to go.