Generally, yarn is skeined straight after spinning or plying. This is because after spinning or plying the yarn usually gets washed, and a skein is the best form to have the yarn in during this process.
What is a Niddy Noddy?
A niddy-noddy is a common tool used by spinners to make skeins from yarn. It consists of a central bar, with crossbars at each end, offset from each other by 90°. The Ashford Niddy Noddy, which you can find here is made from Solid Silver Beech hardwood and is known as one of the highest quality on the market. It consists of a central bar, with crossbars at each end, offset from each other by 90°.
What size niddy noddy do I need?
Niddy Noddy’s can be made of different sizes, producing skeins from 12 inches in length to 4 feet in length. The most common size, however, produces a two-yard skein. A small niddy noddy is commonly used for small samples or yarn. Spinners spin a sampler length of yarn, ply it and skein it, using their niddy noddies before washing. This way they can see if the yarn is as preferred or not.
Why use a Niddy Noddy
Balls of yarn are usually easier for knitters and crocheters to use, primarily as they don’t get tangled as easily. Occasionally yarn is taken from an existing ball and re-skeined in order to measure the length of leftover yarn, store it without tension, or to simply to wash out any kinks if the yarn has become unravelled
How to wind a niddy noddy
In our free “How to Spin Wool” tutorial there is a page showing how to do this. You can get your own download here We also have a free video tutorial that demonstrates how to use your niddy noddy right here
To use your niddy noddy, you start by winding the end of the yarn around the centre piece. Some people prefer to tie the end to one end of the crossbar. Both options work fine. Next, you hold the end of yarn firmly in place, while you begin to wrap. The yarn is then taken over the left end of the top crossbar, down and under the right side of the lower crossbar, up and over the other end of the top crossbar, and then down and under the other end of the lower crossbar. You then return to the starting point, having completed one wrap. While rather tricky at first, you will quickly pick up the pattern.
What other yarn winders are available?
The closest similar tool is the umbrella swift, you can find one here. The umbrella swifts is clamped to the table, and although are very useful, especially for larger lengths of yarn, are quite not as portable as a niddy noddy. The swift also has other uses, such as holding skeins for balling