Try a Nøstepinne!

Oh, how I love to wind yarn! Sometimes I wind center-pull balls with no tool beyond my own thumb, but sometimes a beautiful nøstepinne (affiliate link) is the cat’s meow.

The word nøstepinne comes from Scandanavia and has a different spelling in languages in the region. This helpful tool is a short, carved stick for winding yarn. Nøstepinnes range from simple sticks that taper slightly to highly ornate, delicately carved gifts featuring a beloved’s initials. Whether rudimentary or elaborate, the way the tool is used is pretty straightforward; here’s how I go about it.


1. Most nøstepinnes have a notch at the top to tie your yarn. It only needs to be tied tightly enough that it won’t come loose while you wind, but should be easy to untie when you’re done.

2. Pull the working yarn down to a central point on the shaft, and wrap the yarn around this spot several times to get started. I’m right-handed, as you can see, so I wind from right to left (clockwise).

3. Now, wind the yarn from the bottom right edge of the growing ball to the upper left.

4. The yarn then follows the same angle down the back of the ball: upper left to bottom right.

Continue winding this way as you slowly rotate the nøstepinne clockwise in your hand. If you’re a lefty, just reverse the direction of the previous steps.


Almost done!

Once you’ve wound all the yarn into a ball and about two feet of tail remains, wrap the working yarn around the outside of the ball. Tuck the end into this outside wrap to secure. Untie the yarn at the top of the nøstepinne, slide the ball off, and you’re ready to knit!


Featured Image: The spelling of this tool’s name varies among Scandinavian languages. Nøstepinne is most common. Photos by Matt Graves

Fine tune your skills!!


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