February 5

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The Best Yarn Winder DIY

Yarn winders are great inventions, but did you know you can make your own? That's right, it's true!

A perfect option if you are handy or creatively inclined, or the commercially available yarn winders are out of your budget range.

Here's another incentive to make your yarn cakes, it's much cheaper to buy yarn in skeins or hanks than ready-made cakes.
What are you waiting for? Get out of your DIY mentality and create your machine to be proud of.

Here are some helpful tutorials, tips and tricks.

If this seems like too much hard work, I've reviewed the best yarn winders on the market. How to make a homemade yarn winder?
Here's a simple but ingenious way to make a diy yarn winder using everyday items you can get cheaply at thrift or discount stores.

It's easy and quick to put together too. Fun and a great way to save money.

Note: With this method, you cannot adjust the size very quickly. To wind a different size skein, you must remove all the tape.

You will need

Lazy Susan - 1
A dish rack or wine rack (make sure it's the kind that can collapse) - 1
A large Sizer or Turkey Baster ring - 1
Adhesive tape
Scissors
Step 1

Prepare your skein by untwisting it and removing all the loops, so it is one long loop. Place the yarn loop around the rack and adjust the size as needed to make it tight.

Place the frame on top of the lazy Susan, centering it, making sure it is not unbalanced.

Step 2

Obtain the tape and scissors and cut pieces of tape, taping the shelf tightly to the lazy susan. Make sure to tape in the opposite direction of the first piece of tape in a criss-cross fashion.

This is so that it does not collapse inward.

Step 3

Test it to make sure it is secure. Add more tape if necessary.

You've created it - congratulations! Here is a list of steps on how to wind the yarn.

Get the large ring sizer or turkey baster. Hold it in your left hand.
Hold the yarn in your right hand and wrap it around the turkey to make sure it doesn't slip.
Wrap the yarn around the turkey, using the following pattern. First, wind perpendicular until you have a good layer of yarn. Then wind at 45 degrees, with the wraps 1/4 apart, turning the ring size as you go with your left hand.
(This technique is similar to what you do when winding with a Nostepinne).
It can be a little tricky when you first start, but you will get the hang of it.
You can have a beautifully wound center pull yarn cake in less than 15 minutes!

Yarn store good yarn

Alternative Methods
Here are some other ideas for making your yarn ball winder.

#1 - Simple quick fix solution
If you need to quickly get some yarn out of breath or fixed, this is the perfect quick fix solution.

Note: This method produces cakes, but with a cardboard tube in the middle to hold it together. Also, it's not a center pull. Pull as you would a ball or skein.

You will need

Electric mixer - 1
Cardboard roll or tube - 1 (can be short or long)
Scissors
Step 1
Gather your materials. Place the electric mixer on its side, with the whisk pointing up and out. Place the cardboard tube into the whisk part of the mixer. Make sure it fits snugly.

Step 2

Get the scissors and cut a small slit in the top of the cardboard tube. Place the end of the string in the slot. Tie the end of the twine to a part of the electric mixer beater.

Step 3

Turn on the electric mixer at the lowest possible speed. Hold the thread to maintain even tension, and as you turn the beater, the thread will begin to wrap around the cardboard roll.

Step 4

Continue winding until everything is finished. Turn off the mixer and untie the end of the beater. Remove the roll from the beater, and you have your yarn ready to go.



#2 - Using a Nostepinne
Have you ever heard of one of these?

It's the older version of the modern yarn ball winder. The name comes from a Scandinavian word meaning "nest-stick."

It's not exactly a DIY winder, but it is the older version of today's ball winders. Still, it's a beautiful way to wind your yarn, and much more do-it-yourself than the other options on the market.

If you're good at or enjoy woodworking, you could even make one for yourself.

How to use a Nostepinne

Tie the end of the twine to the pole and make sure it's a knot you can easily undo when you're done. A hitch knot is a great idea. (If it has a groove, tie it there. If not, tie it at the top or bottom. It doesn't matter which end.)
Move the yarn to the center and begin winding. This is to form the base of the ball of yarn. As you twist, make sure it is close together, you don't want it too far. Keep the yarn taut.
Take the yarn from the top wrap to the bottom diagonally as you twist the Nostepinne with your other hand. Do it again, but move it from the bottom to the top.
Repeat the yarn strand pattern until you have finished wrapping all the yarn.


Other great tutorials on how to make a ball winder.
#1 - Almost like a store bought version, but even better.

A knitting and crafting lover who goes by the name Handprints created an excellent do-it-yourself version.

It takes a little longer and is a slightly more complicated version than other methods discussed in this post, but it is excellent.

The best part is that it doesn't require too much hassle to obtain materials or power tools.

Available on Instructables here.

#2 - A ball winder using an electric drill?

Incredible as it may seem, yes, you can use an electric drill to wind yarn, as this tutorial from Sideways at Instructables shows you how to do it.

It's deceptively simple, but be sure to be very gentle and don't let the drill go too fast!

More info here.

Your questions answered
Can you use a thread winder without a Swift?
Yes, of course, you can! But if you decide not to use a rapid, you will need something else to hold the thread loop.

A good idea is the back of a chair, an expandable shelf of some sort, or someone patient and willing arms!

How do you wind yarn with a ball winder?
Find a workbench or space you can use to set up your tools. Clear the area.

If you are concerned about whether you might get damaged by the table clamp, place a cloth on the surface. The best distance between your yarn winder and the fast wind is 12-18 inches.

Attach each instrument to the table and tighten the bolts to secure them.
Putting the yarn on the Swift
Unwind the skein or hank and remove the loops, so it is a ring of yarn. If using scissors, be careful not to cut the actual thread when removing the loops.
Find the two ends, checking that they are not tangled.
Push the button at the bottom of the pole up. The arms will expand.
Place the ring around the arms. Adjust as necessary.
Connect the thread to the bobbin winder.

Find the end that is on the outside. This is the one you need to connect to the bobbin winder.
Slide it through the metallic thread guide and the slot at the top of the spindle.
It is now attached
Create a yarn cake

Start turning the spindle slowly. The skein yarn will begin to spin, creating the center pull cake.
Use your other hand to guide the yarn between the instruments. It helps you to have control over the tension.
Increase the winding speed slightly. Make sure everything continues to run smoothly.
You'll have the results of your beautiful cake in no time!
Remove the thread

In one hand, hold the yarn with your pincer fingers in the slot at the top of the winder.
Use the other hand to ease the cake of yarn.
Unwind a length of yarn from the ball. Wrap it around the middle a few times and place it at the end.
Tada, you're done!

How to make a yarn cake by hand?
Make a ball winder for yourself, use a nostepinne or use an everyday household object, such as a turkey, rolling pin or similar long cylindrical object.

There you have it, ready to venture into the world of DIY and create something useful, functional, and something you can be proud of? I hope you find this post useful.


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