Monday, February 13, 2012

How's It Get That Way?

Have you ever wondered how a length of yarn gets turned into a neat little skein?

When I've finished plying yarn on my spinning wheel, I need to get it off the bobbin and put into a hank, so that I can get the spin set or twist it into a skein for storage. To do this I use my niddy noddy.
A niddy noddy has a center bar, with a smaller bar at either end which are at a 90ยบ angle from each other. Yarn is wound onto the niddy noddy by going up over one end of the top bar, then down under the end of the bottom bar, back up over the other end of the top bar, and then back down over the other end of the bottom bar. You can watch a video of this here.
This process is repeated until all of the yarn has been put onto the niddy noddy. Both ends of the yarn are then tied around the hank, so that they can be easily untied, but will still hold and keep the yarn from unwinding or tangling until you untie them. Then you take the yarn off. I do this by slipping the hank off of each of the ends.
Niddy noddies come in various sizes, and it's useful to know what size hank yours will make. Mine makes hanks of which each loop of the hank is approximately 5 1/2 feet in circumference. If you count the number of loops, multiply by 5 1/2, and then divide by 3, you get the yardage for the hank. While in this state, it is ready to have the spin set, be dyed, or wound into a ball.

If you're not yet ready to set the spin or wind it into a ball, if you hold the hank so that it is looped around your hands, you can then twist the loops, each hand moving in the opposite direction, until there is plenty of twist built up and there is only a small loop at each end of the hank where your hands were. Fold the hank in half, slide one loop inside the other, and let the hank twist around itself. When done properly, this is the best way to store your yarn as it doesn't put additional strain on the fibers.
One skein of yarn, ready to store.

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