Manual yarn winders?

We received a very generous donation of yarn from a local yarn store, and we have a ton of yarn to wind! So I was thinking about getting a yarn winder. We can’t afford an electric one so I’m just wondering what are some good manual winders that aren’t too costly? Approximately how long does it take to wind a whole skein?

Thank you! :slight_smile:

That’s wonderful! :thumbsup:

I’ve heard this is a good one.
http://www.knitpicks.com/cfaccessories/accessory_display.cfm?ID=80583

I always wind my own, but it would be hard with a lot of yarn. If all else fails I use this method and I make them in nice cakes like the ball winders do.

Bottom of the page- how to wind a center pull ball
http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-tips

I have the Knit Picks winder, I like it, it’s faster than winding by hand. I can’t say how long it takes. I know it makes frogging easier if I’m starting with the end of the yarn I can just wind and frog at the same time.

My manual yarn winder is my hubby! I can rent him to you if it helps, lol!

I’m interested!

I was watching a video about how to knit socks, and the woman in the video used a similar yarn winder as the one from KnitPicks. She blasted through half a big skein of yarn in about a minute, so I would think that this would make your life much easier–even with lots and lots of yarn.

If you get one, please do give us an update. I’ve been wanting to know how these work for others ever since I saw that video.

Meanwhile, must teach hubby a new trick! :eyebrow2:

The only hand cranked model I’ve ever used was … not good. I wish I I could remember who built so I could tell you to avoid it. It was almost faster to do it by hand, except for the time we had to wind nearly a mile of sock yarn. And even then it took both of us to operate the froggin’ thing. It was bad. Bad, bad, bad, twenty bad.

Depending on how generous the LYS is, they might wind it for you. I know the stores I go to here will wind any yarn you buy from them free of charge (I prefer to wind my own, machine wound balls always have The Wad when you start them).

Failing that, you could always have a Wind-a-Thon with the local scout troop or something. (They’re always looking for service projects, right?) Might cost you a couple of dozen pizzas or something, but I bet it’d get done quick. Many hands make light the work as they say. Now how well the balls would be wound is another story…

I have the one from KnitPicks and I like it. I hold it in my hand instead of mounting it (no good place to mount) and you have to be careful of the handle coming loose while you’re cranking away. It’s the kind of handle that has two notches and you put them in and turn to attach it, so if you’re holding and cranking you could inadvertently twist it out. Other than that it works fast. I don’t blast through it and it is still only a few minutes.

I forgot that the handle likes to come loose. I put my thumb on the platform part above it and that keeps it together.

I bought mine for JoAnn (online) and I can’t remember the name of it, but the picture on the box looks like this, so it must be this one. :teehee:

Lacis Yarn Ball Winider

I’m sure I used a 40% off coupon on it or bought it on sale and used a free shipping coupon. I can’t remember exactly and I don’t have the receipt anymore.

I really like it and it works really well. The kids thinks it’s some sort of toy that I’m selfishly keeping away from them – if I have more than one ball to wind, I’ll set it up in the living room so that they can take turns.

I like that it attaches to a table; I use both hands, one to keep the yarn from tangling and one to wind. It does wind better when I’m not holding the yarn, but DH has not finished my yarn swift so I’m having to manually make sure the yarn doesn’t tangle itself.

I’m not sure how long it takes, but it is very quick! I tend to do it when I have several balls to wind because otherwise it takes longer for me to take it out of the box and set it up than it does to do the winding!

The kids thinks it’s some sort of toy that I’m selfishly keeping away from them

That’s maybe the best part of one of these, kids will do your winding for you and enjoy it! That looks almost identical to the KP one, I didn’t run down discounts and was ordering from KP anyhow so got theirs. Probably one would work just the same at the other. Mine had instructions for putting the yarn on the back of a chair for winding but so far I’ve only used yarn that was already in a ball so haven’t tried it. My adventures in winding are for frogged or the end of a center pull skein or when I want a small amount for something.

I asked my girlfriend if she could remember the manufacturer of the winder she just junked and she couldn’t, but she DID suggest that wooden models usually have better gears (less prone to breakage) and that that was what was wrong with hers. She also mentioned checking the spokes on the swift to be sure they were solid, but you hadn’t said anything about getting one of those.

If this is a one-off and you don’t figure to need the winder again then you can probably go with whatever the cheapest model is you can find. If you’re planning on using it a lot over the long term, it’s probably worth spending extra to get one with brass gears. (Easy for me to say – it’s not my money and I don’t have the foggiest idea how much such a thing would cost. But my guess is “more”.)

If my hubby winds a ball it’s going to look like the multicolor one…a round ball that pulls from the outside and rolls around. He is only allowed to help with big knotty messes.

If I hand wind a ball it’s going to look like a flat cake that is center pull and sits nicely by my side like this pink one.

If I wind it, it’s going to be the round ball with the center pull that you keep in a bag to keep it from rolling around, but feeds like butter from the first yard to the last; i.e. no big wad of Ramen noodles at the beginning!

Easy - have your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend stand in the middle of the room with his/her/its arms outstretched and use them … works for me.