A Niddy Noddy is one of those handy tools for knitters and crocheters – essential for spinners or dyers. It assists you in winding up yarn into a hank that you can twist into a skein – the best way to store yarn to preserve its’ elasticity. You can also wind up leftovers into neat little mini skeins for collecting, trading and display. The size of your hank is dependant upon the length of the center arm of your niddy noddy. I have a larger one with an 11″ center arm and a smaller one with a 6″ arm that I use to wind up my sock leftovers into mini skeins.
Make your own with just a few hardware store items:
for the 1.5 yard Niddy Noddy:
two 3/4″ copper tee’s
one 7/8″ hardwood dowel cut into 5 pieces: 4 – 5 inch pieces and 1 – 11 inch piece
For the mini skein niddy noddy:
two 1/2″ copper tee’s
one 5/8″ hardwood dowel cut into 5 pieces: 4 – 3 inch pieces and 1 – 6 inch piece
1 piece of medium grit and fine grit sandpaper
glue suitable for metal and wood (I used gorilla glue)
After cutting the dowel into the appropriate sizes**, round the edges of the four shorter pieces of dowel with the medium grit sandpaper. Use the fine grit sandpaper to lightly sand the surface of all 5 pieces of dowel so yarn can move easily across the surface without snagging.
** If you’d like to make a niddy noddy in an alternate size, cut the center dowel piece so that the finished center arm is one fourth the size of the desired skein. Keep in mind that the copper tees add about one inch to each side of the center piece.
Glue the dowels into the copper tees, starting with the shortest pieces. When they’ve dried, glue the longer center piece into the copper tee of ONE ARM only. If using gorilla glue, dampen the parts before glueing, and use small amounts of glue to keep it from foaming out the seams.
If you use pine dowel, as I did in the photos, twisting and untwisting your niddy noddy as you use it will eventually disfigure the soft wood of the center arm. To solve that, substitute copper pipe in the same size for the center arm.
Using your new tool is easy and fun! Simply wind in the direction shown. Once you get started you’ll get a rhythm, holding the center arm with one hand and tilting this way and that as you quickly wind on.
Continue winding until the desired amount is on the niddy noddy. Wind loosely, keeping a bit of distance from the center bar. To remove the hank after it’s completely wound, simply twist the unglued arm of the niddy noddy to be parallel with the opposite arm. That will give enough slack to slip the hank off.
To skein, hold the hank taut with fingers through the loop on each side and twist in opposite directions. Allow the loop to twist around itself in half and tuck one end of the hank through the loop on the other side.
Corral those loose ends!