Another Ball Winding Question

I’ve been looking into ball winders because I have three balls of yarn from an afghan I “frogged”* many many years ago. (The balls were wound then.) I would like to convert them to something that is center-pull to use for knitting.

I found a Lacis ball winder for $24 (+ $6 shipping) but I can’t figure out if it is worthwhile or not. There are lots of raves for the ones at Joanns and KP, but those are quite a bit more expensive. :shock:

However, I am fascinated by the idea of a nostepinne, although I haven’t figured out what the dimensions of them are to ask DH to make one for me. I am even wondering if I could just use some long chopsticks to rewind my ancient yarn balls.

What do you all think? Should I continue to pursue the idea of handrolling or should I just give up and buy a mechanical winder? :eyebrow2:

  • Did I use it right? Browsing the boards I have come to the conclusion that “frogging” is unraveling a work in progress, but I’m not really sure. :lol:

You are correct of frogging. I read it explained here that the word came from the process of rip it, rip it, rip it out.

A friend of mine winds her yarn over her thumb, creating a centre pull ball that way, in spite of the fact that she has frequent access to a ball winder.

My DH loves to wind my skeins? of yarn and for some reason like to untangle the mess I often make of my yarn when real life gets in the way… However I am also curiosu about the idea of a mechanical ball winder. Albeit DH does claim that winding the yarn into a ball for me is soothing (I personnally am loathe to wind it myself)!

Well, if you’d like to try hand winding your own center pull ball, here’s a tutorial showing how to wind one using a toilet paper tube… and another one using a piece of pvc pipe. Both are the same idea as using a nostepinne, I think… but cheaper. You can try it and then you’ll at know if you want to pursue doing your own on better equipment, or if you want a ball winder. :slight_smile:

I use my thumb too. It’s pretty easy but it is time consuming, and my DS doesn’t like to help much by holding the yarn, lol. I need to try holding it on my knees like some have mentioned.

I have a thick dowel-like stick that I was going to try instead of a Nostepinne-I figure it’s close enough to work! But I haven’t actually tried it yet.

For that amount of yarn it might be worth it to by the less expensive ball winder. I’d check to see what kind of return policy they have though, just in case you don’t like it.

Good luck!

I LOVE my Royal Ball Winder - got it off of ebay (about $40 w/shipping). You can wind so much yarn so quickly with it. I also love that it winds the yarn into cakes and not balls. They store easier than balls and stay put when you’re working from them. I’ve never had a problem with it and it sets up and takes down in a flash.

I purchased my ball winder from and with the 50% off coupon it came out to be about $36. (tax and shipping included in total)

Here’s a current 50% off coupon code if you’re interested [B]JANA850[/B] it expires 1/31/08


Thanks for all the great responses! :yay:

I think that my yarn balls are too big to wrap on my thumb – the smallest one is about the size of a large grapefruit – although that sounds quick and easy to do! (And cheap, LOL)

I read about the paper towel idea before, but I thought it might make the open core too big and loose and apt to make the ball collapse on itself before it was finished. However, I like the idea of a PVC pipe and I’m pretty sure we have a scrap piece of one around somewhere. I think I may try that one! :thumbsup:

That is also a good idea about the 50% off coupon; I wonder if they carry them in the store (I get the mailer and I remember now there is a coupon for this weekend). I’ll check into that as well! I keep forgetting the those JoAnn coupons can be used for more than just scrapbooking supplies! :rofl:

I love this post! Thanks for sharing; that is so nice that your DH likes to wind your yarn for you. :inlove:

My DH perked up a bit when I mentioned the nostepinne to him – he likes to do woodworking but he hasn’t used his lathe in ages. I told him that I had to research it a bit more and get some pictures and dimensions for him. If I try out the PVC pipe, that would be a good start for how I feel about diameter and length and he could wing it from there.

Oh my gosh, that is soooo cute! :yay: I love that!

Is that a KH thing or is it common to yarn crafts?

Jennie8, thank you SO much for the tip! I just went to and ordered my ball winder!

Last night DH went out to the garage and found me a nice length of PVC pipe to try out. I told him that I wanted it to have a smaller diameter than a paper towel tube and maybe 10-12 " long.

Here is a picture of it with the biggest of my three yarn balls:

Here it is after working on it while my toddler played in the bathtub.

It’s very slow going! :shock:

I’m enjoying the process but at this rate it’s going to take me six months to rewind this ball. :rofl:

I’m still in love with nostepinnes – I think they are so pretty! – but I’m seriously thinking that a ball winder might not be such a big expense after all. :wink:

Maybe I could just start a nostepinne collection but get the ball winder for practical use! :shifty: