I never thought I needed or wanted a yarn winder. I was happy enough with using yarn directly from the ball, or, when I had a hank to work from, sticking it on the back of a chair/around my knees/on my long-suffering husband’s outstretched arms and winding it by hand.
Then I went to Imagiknit on our trip to San Francisco and bought 4 large hanks of Madeline Tosh 4ply yarn. 4ply yarn in a large hank is a LOT of winding to do by hand, so I had a little play on their yarn winder and swift.
Immediately I knew I had to get my own. Having battled cats, arm ache, cutting off the circulation in my fingers and… some more cats when I used to hand-wind my hanks of yarn, using the yarn winder in Imagiknit was like seeing the light!
I immediately put a swift and winder on my wish list for when I returned to the UK. After a good look around online, I plumped for this (slightly retro-looking) yarn winder:
Alright, it’s not a looker like the beautiful wooden winder in Imagiknit, but it was really affordable, and it seems to be the only commonly available design on the market. Weird.
I picked up this yarn winder from Amazon – it arrived quickly and required no assembly. It’s super easy to use. The red knob on the top moves the clamp which fixes it to your table, and the handle spins the winder itself.
I’m not going to lie – I’ve had a few issues with this winder. The yarn guide (the metal twist that sticks up on the opposite side to the handle) isn’t very stable at all, meaning I have to hold it in place as I wind. This is fine when I’m working with a swift, but it makes re-winding a ball really quite a struggle.
I’ve also had issues with the yarn disappearing under the platform of the winder and getting stuck in the gears. This is usually salvageable, but on one occasion it led to me having to cut and re-tie my yarn. Not ideal.
Despite all this, I’m getting a lot of use out of my cheap little winder and I would still recommend it as a nice starting point for winding your yarn. It’s a definite step up from my cat-riddled, arm-aching, circulation-cutting winding experiences of yore. And… yarn cakes are really pretty, so I’m going to keep on making them!
I’m not sure this is the last yarn winder I’ll ever buy, but I will say – I’m glad it was my first, and I plan to continue using it for a while yet!
Until next time,
Elsie Pop xx