Thursday, March 29, 2012

Yarn winding - 2 methods (and a GIVEAWAY!!) - UPDATE

I pick up crochet every now and then, and I've procured (notice I avoided the word "hoarded") a huge collection of yarn.  Problem is, I have partial skeins from projects, as well as some Goodwill stuff that just isn't in any way put together. Some of the Goodwill stuff is wrapped around itself, some is almost wilting out of its wrapper.

I saw Stacey Trock (at Fresh Stitches) post on a yarn winder the other day...if you haven't been there, she makes and sells some of the cutest amigurumi and patterns I've ever seen.   Here's just a couple of her many.
Forrest the Gnome (pattern)
Alastair the Caterpillar

I'm pretty sure girl can crochet animals in her sleep.  Her site is also a great resource for crochet and amigurumi making help and tips.

And here's the best part - she's donated something awesome for a giveaway! See these guys?

Stacey has generously donated the e-book full of these awesome amigurumi patterns!  Here's how it's going to work -

1. Connect with me however you prefer (doing just one is fine!)- using Google Friend Connect, join my site, get the RSS feed, join my Facebook page - whatever!

2.  Leave a comment letting me know what you did, and which of these guys is your favorite!
3.  Saturday, April 7 at 12pm (CST) I'll randomly pick a winner from my comments (that meets the criteria) and announce it for the whole world to see on my Saturday post.

Good luck!

Anyway, I always said a yarn winder was a frivolous thing to buy - I can wind yarn into center pull balls.

Here's how I do it:

Center Pull Yarn Ball, By Hand:

When I hand wind, I hold the tail of the yarn in my palm, like this:

Then wrap a figure eight between my thumb and forefinger.  Make a few figure eights (I usually do 15 or so).

  Then slip off your fingers carefully, keeping the figure 8 intact.  Fold the figure 8 over your yarn tail, so you have a circle sandwich with a tail in the middle.

Start wrapping the yarn around the whole circle sandwich, rotating the whole time. Make sure you always keep the end of the yarn hanging free - don't wrap yarn over it.   When you start it looks like this:
Tuck your end under a few strands on the outside, and you're done.  Here's what mine looks like:

But looking at my collection, I knew something had to be done, and maybe by rewinding it, it would take up less space (knowing me though, really, if it took up less space, I'd be more likely to fill that space up again...).  Anyway, it had to be a faster way to deal with the problem.  I can't imagine how much time it would take to do all of my problem skeins by hand.

Using the Ball Winder:

With my husband out of town, I knew I'd have a little more time to work on organizing my stash, so I ordered the winder that Stacey recommended (Lacis Ball Winder).  She posted a great video tutorial on how to use the winder, so I felt like if I got lost, I had that to back me up.  Here's how she did it (isn't she the sweetest?):

I sat down last night, turned on Hugo (which I had not seen), pulled out all my balls of yarn that needed reworking, and got to work.  Here's my winder.

The Lacis Ball Winder is simple to set up.  I was actually more confused about how simple it was...surely I was missing something.  Nope, it really is that easy. Clamp on a flat surface, put plastic spool on, stick yarn through loop, fit into spool, and start turning. It's quiet, mesmerizing to watch, and easy to set up. Not sure you can ask for much more in a product.

In a matter of minutes, I had a few new balls wound, consistent in size and shape.  Here's one drawer of the 5 I have (shamefully stored away). That's a lot of the winding I did last night. Impressive, isn't it?

So much faster than doing it by hand, and it winds them loosely.  When I do it by hand mine tend to be a little bit too tight.  I struggle to pull the center string out until enough is pulled out of the middle.  That means extra tension when crocheting.

Here's an example for you:

Before (hand wound):

After (Lacis):

See how the Lacis makes the skein wind loosely?  It's great for a center pull ball, and great for while you are crocheting.  I'm a little disappointed I don't get to save space...but with an end product that's easier to use, along with the time-saving, I think I can handle it.

I know this post isn't for everyone - sewers don't need yarn winding tips!  But I wanted to share this with the people who follow me for my crochet projects, since I found it so helpful.  I redid probably 20 skeins of yarn last night (shameful in itself that I had that many to do!).  And it didn't take me an hour...with a lot of distractions.

So yeah...when my husband goes out of town, I watch family oriented movies and wind yarn all night. I'm living it up!  Don't worry, I got a new movie for tonight (the new Footloose) and I have a few more skeins to do.  I'm going to have a wild night. :)

Please come home soon Mr. Tupelo.  I'm turning into a crazy cat lady.

and thanks Stacey!


  1. Thanks so much for the info! I MUST have one of these winders! Hope you're having a wonderful day!

  2. Those are the cutest! Thank you for the visit and the sweet comment @TheDedicatedHouse. It means the world. Wishing you a grand evening. Toodles, Kathryn

  3. Loe the yellow duckie - I am a follower. Thanks for the yarn winding tips.


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