Just got a ball winder!

Is it bad for the yarn to be wound into balls before you are ready to knit with it? I want to pre wind a bunch of yarn today, but I was thinking there must be some reason that some yarn comes in hanks and not balls…

The thing that really kept me from getting a ball winder for so long was the cost of the swifts! Even Knitpicks, home of the cheap knitting supplies, has one for $70! I finally found a cheap metal one from an Amazon seller for $40. :happydance: I know you can make your own but I’m lazy.

I had to do something though, since I just ordered all this yarn from WEBS and it’s all in hanks.

:happydance: You will love the ball winder, it saves you a lot of time…esp if you have a lot to wind up

Yaaaahhh for you!!! I LOVE my ball winder! When I got mine I wound just about everything I had, so no I don’t think it will bad for your yarn to be wound before you need it.

… and I saw one answer to your question. Hanks are done that way to “let the yarn breath.” Now, in my book, if the yarn is still breating, they you might expect it to not want to be knitted into fabric. “Baa! Baa!” :roflhard:

**[[I]I don’t think winding a center pull ball or cake will cause problems.[/I]] Center pull balls alow the yarn to relax into the center hollow as you use it so would negate any stretch issues if it was wound tight in a ball. **[[I]in contrast to tight hand winding.[/I]]

I’ve had issues with hand wound balls once I get to the center where it’s ben squashed into a tight wad and all crinkled from the outer windings.**

I think I’ve finally found a new years resolution, to build a homemade ball winder.


P.S. Edits **

Yes, just to reiterate what Jack said, if you’re not planning on using yarn in the near future, it’s probably better to leave it in the hank. That being said, I think it has a lot to do with how tightly it is wound in the first place. I think you’re probably safe if you want to wind a few hanks loosely and you’re not going to use them right away. When I didn’t have a swift I wound my yarn at my aunt’s when I could and so I have yarn that is wound way before I use it.

I want a ball winder so much! But I bought a bunch of stuff right after Christmas when we took a trip and figure I better wait before I bring another new thing into the house. How do you make your own ball winder by the way?

[COLOR="#300090"]Well, I’ll have to work out some plans as there are gears involved.

Simple ideas I’ve seen use electric tools (drills, mixers, etc) with some time of spool material on witch the wool (yarn, thread, fiber) is wound.

Do I have a bookmark? Yes, from a [B][U]hobby clock maker, husband to Lisa Boyer[/U][/B] are plans for a ball winder, swift, and a spindle by Clayton Boyer Clock Designs.

The appear to work well enough, but I was hoping for downloadable plans. :sad:

Now, if you wanted to launch a soda bottle into the air like a rocket, using only air and water for propulsion, I could direct you to several sites. Including my own design on my [COLOR=“SlateGray”]rat-hole of a[/COLOR] website.

Alas, no yarn if involved with that hobby. :wink:


Thank you Jack! I really appreciate that link. I couldn’t believe the prices of some of the ball winders that I had looked at online.

And I’ll have to check out launching the soda bottle in the air. My boys would probably get a real kick out of that! We’ll have to wait for warmer weather though. With the temperatures we’re getting here, the bottle would probably break.

I think I’ll try and design my own yarn ball winder…

As for my water rocket launcher I started a thread in the Off Topic section [B][U]Launching Plastic Soda Bottles Like Rockets![/U][/B]

– Jack

I love my ball winder…I will wind up any yarn, it stores better in cakes, IMO

I got one of these from Joann’s and love it. They have an online only deal right now. And, you can use the 50% off coupon that’s on the homepage. Online they will let you use it even if it’s on sale…they, just take the % off of the original $$. This is the best deal I’ve seen since I first started looking at them…I think it’s at least $10.00 less then I payed for it. Even with shipping…:happydance:


When you add shipping and taxes it’s about $26.00…that’s a great deal! :woot:


I got one for Christmas along with a yarn gauge… I was so excited - Yeah!!! It works great. I would recommend winding up cheap yarn, ie… red heart, to get the hang of it. My first few cakes were a bit tight. Now I have to ask for the swift for my b-day - that is supposed to help with the tension when winding balls.

Enjoy your ball winder.