Sunday, March 20, 2016

DIY and spinning

I seem to have written a blogpost that belongs in both blogs, so I'm putting a link in Beautiful Metaphor to bring people over here, so as not to miss this enthralling adventure. 

 Today's DIY was the result of resuming spindle spinning again, with a view to including it in the Artist in Residence series I'm presenting at the local libe, on textile arts.

I had to review how to spin, first, then how to set the twist, which I did by hanking the yarn over thumb and shoulder, the old fashioned way, then removing it from my arm, and fastening it in sections, while  attempting to stop it from tangling in itself before I got it soaked.  

I was out of practice, owing to not being able to do this for a while, on account of the arm and shoulder issues.  But now I can do it for a while anyway.  Here's the second try at spinning, a bit more fluid movement now, it's getting there

And here's the first sample of yarn, hanging to dry on a doorknob. Note the weight I'm using, handiest thing at the time, and the string fastening the yarn securely so it doesn't get away

 I had dyed this merino roving partially with Koolaid ages ago, to give a kind of stripey effect.

The better solution, I realized, and here's where Field and Fen comes into its own,was to use a niddynoddy, which is a thing you string the yarn on, among other purposes, in order to soak it to set the twist.  The nn holds the yarn steady, then you slip it off to dry it using a weight to hold it as it hangs from whatever you put it on.

But I didn't have a niddynoddy.  So I checked out a few sources for a diy for a cheap nn, and came up with this:

Parts and tools

One piece of half inch pvc piping, four end caps, two t joins.  Total cost a little over $5, and a few minutes sawing with a little handsaw.  See shopping list and bill. Happy to give a shout out to my local Ace hardware store

Since the pvc piping comes in ten foot lengths, too long to transport legally in my car, the man obligingly made the first cut for me -- the whole nn only uses 40 inches of half inch pipe.  So I only had three more cut to make at home to complete the deal, no tools other than a saw needed and another leftover 80 inch length in my storage place for future use


It's adjustable, so it can be turned at right angles for hanking, as shown here, or made flat for soaking.  The end caps can come off, and let the yarn slide off when ready.

Very good stuff, all in all.  About an hour's work, including the trip to the hardware store and an interesting discussion with the man there about why you can't use pvc for plumbing in high rise buildings.  It's the pressure.  When I explained that wouldn't be my plan, my pressures being different ones, he allowed as how I was getting the right stuff for my purposes.


  1. and now I know both what a niddy noddy IS, and what it's for. thank you.

    And isnt pvc pipe wonderful stuff? Years ago at a craft show one of the participants built her entire display, on site, out of pvc pipe. It was truly striking.
    My porch curtains hang on that stuff, too.

  2. I didn't know that about hi-rise plumbing! So are the builders required to use copper? Or is there some super-duper space-age pipe material for the purpose?

  3. About the plumbing -- it's the higher floors which require metal, I assume copper.

    I use PVC piping for curtain rods, too, strong, light and affordable. Now I have a nice length for the next time I need it.

  4. good to see you spinning again and able to use the plastic piping and useful tip re curtain rods too

  5. I've often wondered what a niddy noddy looked like and now I know. Wonder who invented the name 'niddy noddy'...seems like a rather odd choice of name. As for pvc pipe - I made an amazing embroidery frame with it and I love it.

  6. Nn is a kind of folk name, and refers to its ability to face two ways.

    About the embroidery frame -- pix in your blog please?


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