Wednesday, February 9, 2011

DIY PVC Niddy Noddy

We have all frogged a sweater from time to time and then been faced with the task of reclaiming the yarn to try yet again. I needed to reset the yarn to remove all the kinks, and realized what I really needed was a niddy noddy. Back in college as a fibers major I remember my resourceful professor had a couple great PVC niddy noddys in the studio. You could swap out the center piece for different lengths to make your hanks of differing sizes. Additionally the plastic was resistant to moisture and did not take on dyes like wood would.

I searched a bit for a good niddy noddy pattern, but it was tricky since I wasn't certain of the spelling. Knitty knotty, nitty notty, knitty noddy, I mean really, who knew? I came across some marvelous and very clear DIY specs for varying sizes on this site. I took the directions to Greenwood TrueValue Hardware and built it right in the store (Love those guys!) I walked out with a completed niddy noddy for under $10.

Here is  re-post of these handy instructions

Materials and Tools
½ inch (12mm) diameter PVC pipe
2 ½-inch slip tee connectors
4 ½-inch slip end caps
4 O-rings to fit securely around your piping (7/8”)

Cut PVC piping  into 4 pieces that are each 4.5 inches  in length. These will be the arms of your niddy noddy. You can easily cut this with a hack saw or have it done at the hardware store. Use the chart below to determine the body length. Since the body pieces are not permanently attached in this pattern you can interchange these sizes to suit your needs. 

Length of Hank                         Length of Body Section
1 yard                                                5.5 inches
1 meter                                    6.5 inches or 16.5cm
1.5m or 60 inches                        12 inches or 30.5cm
2 yards                                                15 inches
2 meters                                    16.5 inches or 41.5cm

Once you have all of you pieces cut, assemble your niddy noddy.

Step 1: Slide the short pipe pieces through the tee connectors. Add end caps to all exposed cut pipe ends.

Step 2: Side the longer pipe piece into the remaining holes on the tee connectors. You now have a piece that looks like a capital letter I.

Step 3: Twist either the top or bottom (short pipe piece) of the I 90º. Your niddy noddy is now ready to use.

Using your niddy noddy: Wrap your yarn around the niddy noddy from point A to B to C to D and back to A. Repeat until you run out of yarn, counting the times you pass point A. Multiply that number by the length of your wrap (determined by the length of the body of the I; see chart above) to get the length of your yarn. Tie waste yarn around your hank at the four arms to hold your hank together. Then, remove the hank from your niddy noddy by removing one of the arms. Twist your hank and pull one end through the other to make a nice, yarn store style hank of yarn.

(If you are rewinding frogged yarn, spritz with water and let dry. this will remove the kinks so you can rewind the yarn into a ball and get ready for take two of that pesky sweater.)


  1. Thank you for the measurement and the directions on how to use the niddy noddy. I made one this afternoon and put it to use immediately.

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