Recently, I have been interested in making my own yarn on drop spindles. I received a top whorl spindle as a gift and I have been researching the Web, mainly YouTube, to learn how to use my new spindle.
The first thing you want to do is decide which kind of spindle you would like to use. There are two different types of drop spindles, the top whorl spindle and the bottom whorl spindle. I have a top whorl spindle that has a wooden shaft and a zebra stone whorl. On the top whorl spindle there are three main parts, the shaft, the whorl and a hook at the top to catch the fiber and keep it on the shaft. The fiber goes over the whorl and spins into yarn underneath the whorl. On the bottom whorl spindle, it may or may not have the hook and the fiber tuns into yarn that sits on top of the whorl. The main difference is the speed in which the spindle spins. The top whorl spindle spins faster than the bottom whorl spindle and the top whorl spindle can be a bit more wobbly than the bottom whorl spindle. It's a matter of personal preference as to which kind you think you would like.
As far as what kind of fiber to use when learning how to spin, most experts recommend using Blue-faced Leicester or BFL wool for beginners. It has a very soft texture and long fibers for drafting, which makes it easier to spin into yarn. It comes in a variety of colors, white, brown, gray and black. Most people choose white so they can dye their own yarn. But that's another story!
The best books that have been recommended to me is Respect the Spindle by Abby Farquemont; Start Spinning by Maggie Casey and Spin It: Making Yarn from Scratch by Lee Raven.