What You Didn’t Know: The Nifty Nøstepinne

Is it terrifying to say for the first time out loud? Absolutely. Does it sound kind of like nose-picking? Yes. Is it the yarn-ball-making solution we’ve all been dreaming of? You betcha. The nifty nøstepinne is here to save the day!

A nøstepinne is the original ball winder, a tapered rod (often wooden) used to wind a center-pull ball. It’s amazingly portable, easy to use, and it’s better for the yarn. There are many benefits to working with a nøstepinne, among them the ability to create a nicely tensioned center-pull cake and the chance to become better acquainted with your yarn.


If you haven’t been knitting from a center-pull cake, you should be—a cake has a flat bottom, so it will sit on a tabletop or lap without rolling onto the floor and becoming a cat toy. You will also maintain the yarn’s twist and tension better when it comes off a cake.

However, you need equipment to make a cake. A swift and ball winder take up space to use and they can be pricey. I don’t own a swift for that reason; every time I am about to buy one, I remind myself that I can use my knees or a chair for free. I also don’t own a winder, mostly because I don’t own a swift. I know how fast the winder can go with a swift, making my slow pace infuriating. It’s that type of pointless spiraling logic that drives you crazy. But I’m able to continue this ridiculous game because there’s a swift and ball winder at the Interweave office (thank goodness)! I resigned myself to only working from balls should that set-up ever disappear… that is until I found out about the nøstepinne. It replaces a swift, ball winder, and yarn bowl and is probably cheaper than all of them!

A nøstepinne also doesn’t take up much space, so it’s amazingly portable to set up and to use. Imagine buying yarn while you’re on vacation. Why wait until you get home to start knitting? Pull out your nøstepinne, place the yarn around your knees, and get winding!


True, the speed of winding onto a nøstepinne will not amaze you. But this nifty stick gives us the opportunity to slow down and admire the yarn. I keep seeing articles about winding yarn with hand mixers and power drills that strike fear in my heart. I imagine yarn mangled into hankenskeins, never to be recovered. The nøstepinne’s slower speed lets you relax, enjoy, and greatly reduce the potential for a knotted mess.


The video above shows a clip from The Interweave Guide to Managing, Measuring, and Making the Most of Your Yarn. Join expert Nancy Shroyer to learn the answers to common yarn questions and so much more. With this fun and informative video, you’ll never feel lost again when trying to determine how much yarn to buy, how to prevent your yarn from being tangled, or how to calculate the area of your swatch. You’ll have everything you need to become a yarn management and measurement expert!

You can probably find a nøstepinne at your LYS but you can also find gorgeous handmade ones on Etsy.

Happy winding,


Want more notions? Check out the liquidation sale at Patternworks or these great Interweave products!


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