Spinninglizzy's Weblog

Falling down the slippery fibre slope

Andean Plying with a Niddy Noddy

Have the covid-19 quarantines given you extra time to catch up on things you’ve long deferred? For me, it’s posting to this blog!

Spinners often use the Andean plying technique to 2-ply the singles left over on the last bobbin. I will not detail how to Andean ply here, as there are wonderful and numerous resources already available.

The issue I have with wrapping yarn around my hand to Andean ply is that the yarn invariably pulls too tightly on my fingers, or I either tire or am interrupted before I’ve finished wrapping the yarn. You can also get into trouble if you’re too lazy to split a bobbin into two and opt instead to Andean ply it. Or if you decide to Andean ply a seemingly small amount of cobweb-weight singles. I am an expert in courting trouble!

There are tools made that are dedicated to Andean plying. However, I really don’t want another clunky tool that does only one thing. If you already have a niddy noddy that has a handle that extends past the lower crosspiece, you’re golden, and don’t need to do anything extra. (Here and here are examples of niddys with extended handles; LladyLlama on Etsy sells some beautiful ones.) If your niddy noddy doesn’t have an extended handle, it’s very probable you can still make it work.

Here are my Howell and Makers’ Mercantile niddys, taken apart and assembled: (click any photo to enlarge for details)

Mini and Medium Niddy Noddys

Rubber bands are all you need to brace one crosspiece in the middle, creating a handle:

Close-ups: I used two rubber bands stacked together for strength and stability since my cross pieces are rounded.

The bottom crosspiece will be like your palm, and the top piece will be like your anchoring finger. Wrap away! No longer fear the cutting off of circulation to your fingers, or having to stop and put down your work mid-plying!

Hint: use the “sword” of the niddy to hold the yarn bracelet for plying or to store it if you are interrupted.

In the case of my Howell sampler niddy, I needed only one rubber band, doubled, to brace a crosspiece on the niddy body; but this would be best for laceweight or fragile yarn, as the yarn bracelet is only large enough to go around a few fingers.

I was able to extend the handle to make a yarn bracelet large enough to fit around my hand. I scrounged around my supplies and came up with two wooden “needles” that already had holes drilled. These work for me, but before I found them, I was prepared to drill holes in two paint sticks (the inexpensive paint stirring sticks sold or given away in hardware stores).

And I’ve since found that this method also works with my ancient Ashford jumbo niddy!


30 April 2020 - Posted by | Equipment, Spinning | , , , ,

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