Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's this for?

Every once in a while some product or gadget pops up in the shop that makes many of us knitters go "Huh?" We thought it would be fun to use this blog to shine an occasional spotlight on these mysteries. What do you think is being held up in the picture at left? What is it for?

Well, it's called a "niddy-noddy" and it's used to manually wind yarn into a skein. The picture at right tries to give you an idea of how it works (we probably should have shot a video). Niddy-noddies come in various sizes, this one is about 18 inches long; so one full circuit up and then down again takes about a yard of yarn. While you're winding, if you count your wraps, you can guesstimate the total length of the yarn while you produce a very pretty skein.

One reason you might want to re-skein is in order to get another view of how the colors blend together in your hand-dyed yarn. The picture below shows one skein of hand-dyed Heather Sock yarn from Schaeffer (bottom) with the colors separated into bands. At the top, we see a section of the same yarn re-skeined so that the color bands are all mixed together. Same yarn, two different ways of looking at it.

Is there a product or gadget that has you confused? Let us know in the comments, and maybe we can make it our next "What's this for?" blog entry!


  1. Wow! I would never have considered that yarn pre-noddy - but it looks great all skeined up. I need this!!

  2. It's interesting isn't it? I've seen the same phenomenon when yarn is converted from a skein to a ball: the colors change. Then you knit it, not knowing how the colors will stripe or pool.