Textile Tools: The Niddy Noddy

One of my favorite words! A niddy noddy is a winding tool used to remove the spun yarn from the spindle. Often assigned to a child in the family, this was a simple but vital task. Most old niddies measure 2 yards of yarn per pass. This old song was probably designed as an aid to counting off the yardage.


Niddy noddy, niddy, noddy

Two heads, one body,

Here’s one, t’aint one,

‘T’will be one, by and by,

Here’s two, t’ain’t two,

‘T’will be two, by and by.

Etc., until 50 passes have been made and the niddy holds a 100 yard skein.


When I’m spinning away from home, I bring and use my niddy noddy. At home, however, I always use my reel, which is an umpteen times faster way to make that skein. Whichever winder I use, I leave the skein on it for a few days to to help relax it out and straighten the yarn.


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