A nostepinne is a great tool to have even if you already have a ball-winder to turn your hanks into cakes. Why? Well, nostepinnes are portable! So the next time you find yourself on holiday, stumble into a new yarn store, find something you absolutely must have and are compelled to knit with it immediately, you’ll be able to!
The simplest nostepinne is a dowel (actually, even simpler is a toilet paper roll, which I was using until I found this beauty). They are easy to use and will fit in any knitting bag. And just like a ball-winder, they create centre-pull balls (or cakes) that you can stack. I also love that you can find many hand-crafted nostepinnes, making them beautiful and functional (my favourite combination).
Here is a photo-tutorial on how to use one. I purchased this one from Ancient Arts Fibre along with a lovely and soft hank of 100% baby camel at this year’s FibresWest.
There are a two things I really like about winding centre-pull balls: the yarn gets to relax in the middle void after pulling it off the nostepinne and you can knit from both ends at the same time. Now that I have this soft, springy cake of camel, I think it’s time to swatch and dream up some wrist-warmers, I think this yarn would be perfect!