Hooked on Needles

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mary Grace has a new toy - a Yarn Ball Winder!

Have you ever planned a project based on the new tool you wanted to add to your collection? Of course I'm talking about power tools. If you go down to our workbench you will see a 12 inch compound miter saw, a palm sander, a router complete with table, an electric drill with several sets of bits and screwdriver heads to go with it, among other cool power tools and accessories. Most were gifts to me from my sweet husband, and I love using them. I will dream up projects to do just so I can use them.

I had always wanted a jigsaw to add to my power tool collection, so about 8 years ago when I was fixing up our guest room in a garden theme, I decided that I must make a picket fence headboard for the double bed. I also decided that the headboard must have a curve on it, thus justifying the purchase of my jigsaw. Long story short, the headboard came out great and I still have my jigsaw. That makes me smile!

Ok. So. What was I getting at here? Oh yes, my new toy! When I purchased the Silky Alpaca Lace yarn from Patternworks recently to make a Christmas gift for my mother, I didn't realize that I would not be able to use the yarn directly from the ball as it was purchased. So I had to get myself a new toy...uh, I mean tool. That's it, tool! So, in fact, in this case anyway, I really did not plan the project based on the new tool I wanted to purchase. Now let me tell you about this yarn ball winder.

I ordered it from Joann.com, and being the frugal shopper that I am, I had to wait until all the conditions were perfect before making the purchase. I had to wait until the item was not on sale...yes, that's right, NOT on sale! At the same time, I had to have a 50% off coupon code for one regular priced item. And I had to be able to get either free shipping, or generously reduced shipping. After waiting only about 2 weeks, all the conditions were right and I placed my order.

George the mailman made me very happy today and brought my new toy. I couldn't wait to give it a try so I headed down to my sewing room where I found plenty of yarn to practice on...

Messy yarn pile
This is just a portion of the yarn mess I found. But within about 45 minutes, and everyone in the family giving it a try and LOVING it...

Neat newly-wound cakes of yarn
...this is what I ended up with! Neatly wound little and big cakes of yarn that can be used by pulling right from the center! Wow! I was totally impressed!

close-up of yarn cake
This is a ball of Red Heart worsted weight which was about 2/3 of a large skein. I love the neat diamond design the yarn ball winder makes with the yarn. Kind of reminds me of how you cut into a ham and put cloves in each diamond... ... ...huh? Anyway...

My new yarn ball winder handled worsted weight and chunky yarns just great, and super fast too! I wound almost-full skeins of yarn in barely minutes, and so smoothly too. But what about my beautiful, soft, fine, expensive, Silky Alpaca Lace yarn? Did I dare? I had to. After all, that IS why I made this purchase, right?

Winder with lace yarn
Have you ever seen anything quite so beautiful? That is a whole ball, 460 yards, of lace weight yarn, perfectly wound into a neat, pull-from-the-center cake. And it took about 5 minutes!

Yarn Ball Winder
What do you think? Am I in love with my new toy?

Before and After lace yarn
You bet I am!

I think I'll make up a quick little video just to show you how this yarn ball winder works. If you have never used one, I just know you'll be as impressed as I am.

If you have one of these yarn ball winders, I would be interested to hear your opinion of it, how well it works for you, and how you package the yarn balls for long term storage after removing them from the winder. Go ahead and leave a comment and share your thoughts. I'd really appreciate it!

And don't forget to check out my 400th post summer giveaway too!

Happy Stitching!

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  • Now if I really get into yarn projects that looks like a must have!!! Glad you're enjoying your new toy.

    By Blogger Abby and Stephanie, At August 4, 2009 at 11:31 PM  

  • Hello Mary Grace, thank you for visiting and your thoughts..love your new gadget....err tool.....how perfectly wound are the yarns.....you must be very happy with your purchase...hugs lyn

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At August 5, 2009 at 12:49 AM  

  • Hey Mary Grace!
    I have the exact same one...LOL! Isn't it the greatest? You know what this means, don't you? You'll have to keep buying yarn that requires the ball winder!

    One thing that I do, is after it is wound, I take the label and put it back around the cake of yarn and put a rubber band around it...that way, I don't forget what kind of yarn it is...can't take credit for that one...that's how Donna taught me. Another clever little idea that she gave me is, sometimes, I use Press and Seal and put around the cake of yarn to hold that little tail in...like say for some cotton yarn that has been wound from a cone.
    Enjoy your new TOY! I meant tool!
    God Bless You,
    Merry :)

    By Anonymous Merry Thornsburg, At August 5, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

  • I just might have to take up knitting again just so I can use that wonderful"tool" It really looks fun and does a super good job. I love it when we buy tools that really work!

    By Blogger Jane's Fabrics and Quilts, At August 5, 2009 at 11:07 AM  

  • I love to get wound up ... I mean, I love to wind up my yarn ;-) My boys like to 'help' too ... gadgets!

    By Blogger Adrienne, At August 5, 2009 at 3:46 PM  

  • That is a cool toy, I mean tool. I may have to think bout investing in one myself.

    By Blogger Sweet P, At August 5, 2009 at 5:46 PM  

  • What a cool tool. I've never seen anything like it.

    By Blogger Julie, At August 7, 2009 at 4:31 AM  

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