Spinning Tuesdays: My Bobbin Winder & Fiber as a Fix

I’m a flighty spinner, a process spinner, a starter, a dabbler, a sampler – you get the picture. I fill up, or partially fill all of my bobbins pretty regularly. I’m also not a very even fiber divider or spinner, so I frequently have a fair amount of singles left on one bobbin after plying. I need my bobbins but I don’t just want to trash the leftover singles. My answer to this dilemma is storage bobbins.


I recently used some store credit I had on a bobbin winder and I love it. I got a Schacht.

Schacht bobbin winder

I use cardboard storage bobbins that are less than $20 for a bag of 10.


Cardboard spools

I wind off  lonely or leftover singles to use for blending or textured yarns. The cardboard bobbins are great because they are cheap (!) and I can write notes on them – twist direction, fiber, etc.

One hiccup I had at the beginning is the bobbins are too big for the bobbin winder. My fix? Fiber to the rescue!  Using a little fiber on the inside of a bobbin makes it fit perfectly.

Using a little top to make the bobbin fit

Put a finger sized bit of fiber on the end of the bobbin winder shaft and push the too-big bobbin on over it. The fiber fills up the space between the bobbin winder shaft and the bobbin.

When I wind a bunch of bobbins at once I find I have to replace the bit of fiber because it compacts and doesn’t hold the bobbin anymore.


The fiber stuffing trick works great on my niddy noddy too. I have one that is particularly susceptible to weather changes, when the weather gets cooler, even too much air conditioning and the arm falls off while I am winding. I stuff a little fiber in the hole in the arm and the niddy noddy shaft fits tightly once again!

Niddy noddy fix

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Jillian is the​ author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor​ of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts. She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing. Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com

16 thoughts on “Spinning Tuesdays: My Bobbin Winder & Fiber as a Fix

  1. Rycrafty

    My niddy noddy does the same thing! I’ve tried using an elastic band, but you need to find JUST the right one for that to work. Fibre to the rescue!

  2. Linda

    Mine niddy noddy is made of unfinished wood in the dowel and hole sections. I run some water in the hole of the cross piece and run some more over the part that fits in the hole. After a few seconds put them together and position them. The water makes them swell up just enough to fit snuggly while I use them. I just have to re-wet when I use it again.

  3. deborah

    This is so cool I didn’t even know such things existed!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. LaurieM

    I do that little trick with the niddy-noddy too. Works great.

    I’m the opposite of you, I spin a project start to finish. Sometimes I wish I would dabble more. But I worry about consistency in my yarn.

    I fit my dabbling in between projects….

  5. seeherknit

    That’s a great tip for the niddy noddy. Mine has an arm that tends to slip off as well. And I love the idea of using spools that you can write on for extra singles. Very cool.

  6. Anonymous, too

    You could also try wooden matchsticks or toothpicks with the niddy noddy. Many DIY books recommend using these to help get a loose chair rung to fit better before gluing it back into place.

  7. Angela

    Thanks so much for that hint with using fiber to tighten up a niddy noddy. My randomly falls off and this will be a great fix!

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