There have been times when I've wished for a way to make mini-skeins of yarn. Times such as when I used to do a lot of spinning demonstrations. Most people seem to have the idea that all wool is harsh and itchy. So I would hand them some Merino yarn and ask them to guess what it was. Mostly they thought it was cotton. What a surprise to be told it was indeed wool. I used to have a small poster to which I attached yarns from several different breeds. This gave me the opportunity to share a little about different types of wool and wool processing.
Another thing mini-skeins would come in handy for is yarn samples when experimenting with a new fleece. Some times I like to spin a variety of yarns from a fleece to help me decide how to best use it.
I know that mini niddy noddies are available, but somehow buying one just isn't a priority. When the Online Guild began discussing how to make small skeins of yarn, I read the messages with great interest. The cleverest idea came from Amanda Hannaford (who has a lot of fantastic spinning information on her website. Click on "links" and scroll down.) Her idea was to use a mug tree.
I found mine for $2 at a thrift shop. I bought it because I wanted to display some of my Blue Willow mugs, but it never occurred to me that the pegs for the mugs are in the same configuration as the arms on a niddy noddy.
I tried my first mini-skein with the leftover yarn from my stuffed alpaca doll. I tied one end to one of the mug arms and wound it on just like I would a niddy noddy. I tied it loosely with some thread before pulling it off the mug tree.
Being so small, it took a couple of tries to twist and secure it like a large skein. I think perhaps next time I would use a little less yarn. But the results? A very cute little mini-skein. Very handy for small samples.
A keeper of an idea, wouldn't you say?