What is a Nostepinde, you might ask? I asked the same thing when I was searching online for a ball winder. For reasons I’ve never quite understood (letting knitters view the yarn in a relaxed state?), yarn stores sell yarn in completely useless skeins, which must be wound into a ball before use. Otherwise it turns into a tangled ball of mess.
Well, I’ve checked out yarn winders and swifts online, and these mechanized contraptions must be fixed to a table and seem kind of large for my cozy house and not at all portable. One of my favorite aspects of knitting is its portability. I tried weaving, but the thought of lugging a loom around with me (down to my sister’s, up north, on an airplane…) was untenable. Knitting is great, some needles, some yarn, and a bag is about all that is required.
So, clunky mechanized ball winders and swifts wouldn’t do. Through a web search online, I found out about nostepinde (or nøstepinde or nostepinne or nystepinne), which are simple, non-mechanized ball winders. Essentially, it’s a sloped wooden wand around which you wind the yarn. It creates a center-pull ball, so that I can double up the same ball of yarn for my next project. Portable, simple, and beautiful.
I looked online for nostepinde, and I found some on Etsy and around, but then it occurred to me to ask if a friend of mine on twitter, the fine custom woodworker Keith Burtis of Magic Woodworks made them. He was willing to try, and he turned the one in the bottom photo for me. Keith broadcast the woodturning live, and I was able to watch him make it. Cool!
I got it and another for my mother-in-law before Christmas so I kept it quiet until now. Hers is a beautiful walnut nosty. Anyway, I broke out my lovely cherry with a streak of rosewood nosty tonight and created a lovely little football from my new Cascade garnet yarn. It’s surprisingly firm and even with my neophyte winding, the ball is unwinding smoothly as I knit.
Go Nosty! It works great. Thanks Keith!