top of page

Simply Wool

Using a Niddy Noddy

When your fibre is spun and your drop spindle is full, you need to remove it and set the spin so it doesn't unravel before you  can use it.  Most commonly, 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°.

You can find professionally made niddy noddies online, but you can also make your own out of PVC piping, or if you have a handy husband like I do they can easily make you one.


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.

Once your yarn is wrapped on the Niddy Noddy, then you need to take some scrap yarn, or twine,  and tie the yarn in a few places like shown in  the picture below. 


Many people like to remove the yarn from the niddy noddy, and make a "hank" or "skein" before setting their spin. Personally, I like to keep my yarn on the niddy noddy and submerge the entire thing in hot water. When the water cools, I remove the yarn from the niddy noddy and hang to dry, before creating my skein.  I simply loop my yarn over a door frame, and add a hanger to the bottom of the hank. Sometimes i'll add a hand towel or a pair of my little boy's jeans to the hanger to weight down and "block" the yarn (see picture below). 


Once your yarn is dry you can remove the hanger, and bring the yarn off of the doorframe (or wherever you chose to hang your hank). And then you can either twist it into a skein, or wind it into a boll. 

bottom of page