Skeinwinding & Reskeining

Last week, I received a new skeinwinder in the mail, purchased from WoodenSpinner!

Dwight helping to wind the yarn.

A skeinwinder can be used for mainly two things, winding a skein or reskeining a skein. When spinning yarns from a spinning wheel or spindle, a niddy-noddy or skeinwinder can be used as tools to remove the yarn from a bobbin, rather than winding it into a ball by hand. Niddy-noddies can come in various forms, such as tiny wooden ones for sampling, hand crafted wooden ones, or PVC plastic. I started out with a PVC one until my fiance made a beautifully personalized niddy-noddy that, until last week, I used religiously.

The beautiful niddy noddy my fiance made for me.

There are two schools of thought for how a skein of yarn can look for its final form, generally based on personal preference of the dyer. The first is to keep the skeins naturally as they were right out of the dyepot; the second is to reskein the yarn, rearranging the yarn so that all the different colors lay next to each other. I consider reskeining yarns one of the yarn industry's magical little secrets because of what it can tell us. Reskeining rearranges the yarn so that all the different colors lay next to each other.

On the natural yarn, you can clearly see the pools of color. I think this is just as pretty as the skein below, but the reskeined yarn gives us a lot more information about what the final garment will look like.

Reskeining on a niddy-noddy is far more labor intensive than using a skeinwinder, particularly for lace skeins, which is why most professionals choose skeinwinders. To use a niddy-noddy, you have to wrap the yarn around the four edges in a zig-zag pattern, twisting the niddy-noddy and the yarn to complete the movements. (I have gotten very sore from hours of this!)  In comparison, skeinwinders can exist either vertically or horizontally, and spin around in a wheel. They're not as compact, but they're far easier to use because the range of motion is smaller.  Like the niddy-noddy, they can come in many forms: PVC, furniture quality, as well as many having motorized options.

What do you think?  Do you like skeins when they're natural, or after they've been reskeined?

Also, an upcoming event: I will have a booth at the Downtown South Bend First Friday: Dog Days of Summer.  Come visit me if you can, as I will have a special treat for both you and your pup!

Posted on May 29, 2013 and filed under Behind The Scenes.