The Crafter’s Box Review – Making Yarn with ‘Drop Spindle’
The Crafter’s Box is a monthly maker subscription box:
As a member of The Crafter’s Box, we’ll send a lovingly kitted box of tools and materials to your doorstep on a monthly basis. Each month we feature a new expert maker and that maker has built for us a unique, grown-up, on-trend project that reflects their artistic style. In addition to the monthly box, our featured maker has created an educational, digital workshop to teach their crafting medium and to offer their tips and tricks.
The best part of this model is the ability to revisit workshops in the future to create again and again. Happy making!
This review is of the Crafter’s Box subscription at $65.00 for a month-to-month subscription with free shipping.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About The Crafter’s Box
The Subscription Box: The Crafter’s Box
The Cost: $65.00 per month + free U.S. shipping (save with longer subscriptions)
The Products: A shipped kit of curated tools and materials + a new digital workshop by the featured maker of the month
Ships to: The U.S. for free and internationally for varying rates
Good to Know: The month’s featured project is announced on the 1st and subscribers have until the 8th to pause, skip, or swap that month. Projects are designed to be for ages 18+.
The Crafter’s Box ‘Drop Spindle’ Review
The Crafter’s Box is an artisan craft subscription box that features a different, unique craft each month that is designed with the crafty adult in mind. The boxes are thoughtfully curated with high-end materials so that your finished products are modern and luxe. There’s also an accompanying video workshop led by the featured artist that introduces you to the craft and provides you with detailed instructions to complete the project.
Let’s take a look inside March’s box — the craft this month is making yarn with a wooden drop spindle!
We received two info cards this month detailing information on what’s included in the box, as well as a short bio on the featured maker this month, Lauren McElroy of Mother of Purl. For this workshop, Lauren walks us through the fundamentals of drop spinning to create our very own yarn.
Now, onto the items!
These top whorl drop spindles are made from solid beechwood and they’re our main tool for this workshop. They’re used for spinning a single ply of yarn and would be a chic option for storing your spun yarn too.
Corriedale Top Wool .75lb in Natural Light – Retail Value $30.00
We received 12 ounces of this neutral-colored wool with a combed top, which means that the wool fibers have been combed in one direction making it easier for us to pull apart.
Cotton Leader Yarn in White, 1 Yard
This length of cotton is required to start off our yarn spinning. We attach it to the shaft of the drop spindle and loop it around the hook.
These two wooden dowels are threaded through the cardboard bobbins and placed inside the shipping box that we’re repurposing for this project. This is the setup for plying our yarn.
Once you’ve spun a single ply of yarn on your drop spindle, you’ll wind it onto one of these cardboard bobbins. You’ll want to wind an equal amount of yarn onto both bobbins before plying your yarn.
In addition to the tools and materials in this kit, our workshop also includes a digital workshop valued at $25.00 (this is the video access only price) and a live Q&A with the featured maker.
Now, let’s get to spinning…
…or not. I wish I was the kind of person who could spin their own yarn, but it turns out that it’s not something I could pick up straight away. Or after a few attempts. The first step is easy enough, you attach the cotton leader yarn onto the drop spindle, tie a knot at the end of the yarn to make a loop, and twist the yarn around the hook.
Next, you thread a small piece of wool fiber through the looped yarn then spin the spindle clockwise with one hand and draft your yarn with your other hand. As you spin, the twist in the leader yarn is supposed to travel up to the fiber, but this is where I ran into difficulties. My twist was not traveling up smoothly like in the tutorial. The fiber was twisting near the top where I was holding it instead of at the base where the fiber met the yarn. Lauren’s instructions were to hold near the top, but I could only get it to sort of work if I held the fiber closer to the yarn. I was able to add another piece of fiber to the first piece but as soon as I let go to pull apart more fiber, everything would unravel.
Then I thought, let me prep some pieces so I can keep adding to the yarn without having to let go and have it all unravel. With my wool fibers separated and pre-drafted, I felt ready to give it another shot. But again after several repeated attempts I still couldn’t get the hang of it.
Maybe if you get over the first hump of hand spinning and get to the drop spinning part, things might go better, but I really couldn’t figure out how I’d be able to get it to work. The drafting part, where you’re supposed to control the thickness of the yarn, was really difficult for me and I couldn’t get the tension right and the yarn kept twisting up too much. So, while I am currently unable to spin any yarn, maybe I can get some more detailed instructions on how to get started with the upcoming live Q&A with the maker that’s included in this subscription. If nothing else, I now own two wooden drop spindles and I can keep practicing until I get it right.
Verdict: While the workshops from The Crafter’s Box are always challenging, they’re usually more fun-challenging than frustrating-challenging. This is the first time I’ve been unable to make a start on a project right away. The idea of spinning your own yarn is interesting — who even knew that was a thing that you could do? — but unfortunately, it required a lot more hand dexterity than I currently have. However, learning and practicing new skills is very important for brain function, so I appreciate that The Crafter’s Box always delivers new and exciting crafts every month.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, but you can sometimes purchase past workshops as a single box for $75.00 in the Crafter’s Box marketplace. You can see which workshop you’ll receive before you sign up.
Value Breakdown: I didn’t calculate a value for the dowels and bobbins, but the spindles and wool had a retail value of $50.00 and if you add in the digital workshop price of $25.00, then that’s $75.00. So, you’re saving at least $10.00 by subscribing.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of The Crafter’s Box “Drop Spindle”? Did you have better luck than me at yarn spinning? Let us know in the comments!