If you hand spin fiber into yarn, you’ll know exactly why this skein-measuring tool is so handy. It is used to both measure the length of a skein of yarn and to wrap it into those nicely twisted logs you often see at local yarn shops, farmers markets and craft fairs. The simple tool has a center dowel measured to a specific length. The yarn is wrapped on a rotation from end to end. By counting the number of rotations and measuring the length of one wrap, the spinner can calculate the approximate yardage in the skein. The simple design has kept the niddy noddy in use for hundreds of years.

The traditional niddy noddy is made out of wood; some have detailed designs while others, like this one, are fairly simple. Make one yourself using a couple of inexpensive pieces of plastic pipe and connectors. The traditional wood may be prettier, but either way, it’s a useful tool for fiber enthusiasts looking to measure their yarn and make appealing skeins.