I few months ago I picked up a babe handspindle off ebay. So far my attempts have been abysmal at best.
The first, Which I shall call "Salt and Pepper" is made with some mystery wool which came with my spindle. It was very soft, but also very overspun. Oddly though it's relatively smooth.
The second, Called, "The Ed Sullivan Show" (black white and pink, how very 50's" Is a miserable little skein of wool blended with pink dyed cotton. It's raggy and again, overspun. For some reason I love it, but I'm afraid to knit anything with it for fear it will fall apart.
The third are two skeins called "PlayDoh Ice Cream". The colors are lovely but the turned out very loosley twisted and scratchy. I bought the roving from ebay from someone who recommended it for felting. Probably not the best choice for spinning, WHen I set the twist though, it seemed to firm the yarn up. I also spun one color at a time and blended the two colors as I joined a new one. I'm hoping it will stripe. I know this yarn is dextined to become a small felted bag though, from it's scritchiness.
My 4th attempt is andean plied. I just spun the wool in the natural color. I have some berries that my kids picked for me last summer that managed to stain every child in the neighborhood a lovely purply-magenta color. I have no idea what the berries are, I'm sure they are poisonous, but I'm going to attempt dying the wool with these. If it works out well I will be doing a major mystery berry harvest this summer. As for the yarn itself, It's inconsistent and unbalanced, although setting the twist seemed to really help the balance issues. I still have a few overspun places and a few underspun places, but I'm hoping the plying will hold everything together.
Overall, I'm pretty frustrated with drop spindling. perhaps it's my spindle. I bought a different spindle recently at the Yorktown Victory Center gift shop. It requires me using a half hitch to tie on my yarn, and I just haven't been wanted to be bothered by tying knots every time I store the yarn, Especially since I prefer to keep a long length of pre drafted roving twisted around my left arm as I spin. I can just see the knots tht will ensue. Poor hubby will come in to find me in a tangle of wool fiber.
Hopefully I can get up to springwater sometime soon to test out some wheels. I'm really hoping for one for my birthday. (Please, Please fiber Goddess, inspire my family members!) Using a wheel seems to make much more sense to me than a spindle. Hubby is convinced that he can build me one. Oddly, he is fascinated by spinning, but he thinks knitting is garbage (I did teach him how to knit, though). He'll sit and watch me spinning for hours. I've told him that I want one good commercial wheel, and he can have unlimited time studying it so he can try building one. I'm so generous.