There are a variety of spelling for the tapered stick that is the historical ball-winder: nostepinne, nustepinde, nostepinde, nustepinne, nostepenne, nostepende, and a variety of umlaut-ed forms as well. The word is Norwegian for “nest stick”, and it is used to wind a ball of yarn with a center-pull. The one in the photo is mine, purchased a few years back at the New York Sheep and Wool event at Rhinebeck.
Follow this link for detailed instructions on how to use the nostepinde. There are numerous sites on the web that sell beautiful hand-turned nostis: instructions