Sunday, 22 January 2012

Tools of the Trade

It was high time I made a few essntial purchases as a spinner, so I ordered a WPI tool, a niddy noddy, and 100g of BFL tops from an Ebay shop. The delivery, though 2nd class, was incredibly fast and the items were with me within two days.

The WPI tool will come in very handy when my handspun skeins are ready to use. So far I have always had to guess what weight they were, but now I can properly check. I haven't tried it yet, but since I finished my humumgous skein recently, this is the perfect opportunity. I had no idea Ashford was from New Zealand, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I got the tool and it said "Made in New Zealand" on it. Anyone who knows what I got my PhD in will understand why I think that's cool.

The niddy noddy is also from Ashford and it came with a piece of sandpaper so I can smooth it down and finish it with oil. I must say I didn't expect that! I would have thought you get the finished product, ready to use. Even though I have not finished it yet, I just had to try it out that same evening and I am very happy with it.

I was wondering where the word niddy noddy came from and found the following:

A niddy-noddy was a tool used by spinners to wind wool or linen yarn into skeins; made of wood and shaped like two letter Ts attached upside down and crosswise, the tool would bob back and forth like a nodding head as the spinner wound yarn. (Source)
Also, though the OED online does not contain this word, Merriam-Webster offers the following:

Definition of NIDDY NODDY

: a hand reel for yarn

Origin of NIDDY NODDY

perh. fr. obs. niddy-noddy to nod to and fro unsteadily, by redupl. & alter. of 1nod


As an extra, I bought BFL tops that I will try and dye sometime. I imagine that dyeing the tops instead of the finished yarn will result in better colours. Of course I might be completely wrong, but I am looking forward to it.

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