Once you have spun and plied your lovely new yarn, you'll want to make it into a skein. The old-fashioned way to do this was to wind it around the back of a chair or a willing helper's outstretched hands, but there is actually a piece of equipment out there that you can use: the niddy-noddy.
The basic niddy-noddy has a central bar with two end crossbars which sit at 90 degrees to each other. Traditionally constructed of wood, you can also make one out of PVC piping. They come in a variety of sizes, producing skeins of varying lengths. The most common size makes a skein of around 2 meters. The clever thing about the niddy-noddy is that you can use it to see how much yarn you have spun. By counting the number of wraps, and noting the length of the niddy-noddy, you can come up with approximate yardage for your skein.
Here is the one that I made last year. Using PVC pipe, this tutorial and a bit of help from my Dad I came up with this. I’m rather proud of it and it continues to work well for me.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="PVC pipe niddy-noddy, © Ingrid Murnane"][/caption]
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Niddy-Noddy with yarn skeined for dyeing, © Ingrid Murnane"][/caption]
The images in this post are copyright of Ingrid Murnane. If you wish to use the images please request permission from Ingrid.