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Saint Paul, MN
Using a Crochet Hook as a Nostepinde
A yarn winder can be great for creating those wonderful flat stackable yarn "cakes." However, if you don't have a yarn winder or you'd rather have a more portable winder without mechanical parts, a nostepinde is the way to go.
The word "nostepinne" (sometimes spelled "nostepinde") originates from Scandinavian words meaning "nest stick." It is literally a stick that helps you make little "nests" or balls of yarn. A straight large (size Q or larger) crochet hook makes a perfect nostepinne.
With practice, you can create flat stackable yarn cakes similar to those created with a yarn winder, or you may prefer to make round or football-shaped balls. The technique can be a little awkward at first, but truly, with practice of about five or six yarn balls, you'll be much more confident. Confidence is important! Wind the balls fairly fast and with confidence, and you'll find that a level of comfort will come more easily.
Below are some links to instructions for using a nostepinne. To use a large crochet hook instead, simply place a slipknot over the head of your crochet hook and tighten it down into the "mouth" of the hook. Then, wind the yarn onto the end of the hook in the same manner as a wooden nostepinne is wound.