Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The right tool for the job

This is so slick!

Several weeks ago, if you recall, I spent some time hand dyeing a batch of wool sock yarn. Today I had a break in making Christmas presents, and took the opportunity to ball up the yarn. I find it much easier to work from a center pull ball of yarn, rather than from a skein.

Now, traditionally this would mean having someone stick their hands out and hold the yarn for me, while I methodically wound the yarn into a nice neat ball shape. But I have a love for fiber gadgets, and had just the right tools for the job! On the left is an umbrella swift. It expands to hold the circle of yarn, and spins freely around. On the right in the picture is a Boye automatic ball winder that I picked up from Joanne fabric and craft store a month or so ago.

I ran the yarn from the swift to the ball winder, turned it on, and started turning the swift by hand. After the first several turns around however, the combination got up enough momentum that I could go hands off, and just sit back and watch. All I had to do was deal with the very occasional tangle in the skein, and then slow the ball winder down and turn it off when the end of the yarn finally got around.

My kids walked in on me when I had it all working correctly. They thought it was cheating, and teased me about how hard my work was. Ah, the joys of a well equipped studio! I love my gadgets.


  1. I've never seen an electric ball winder. I'll have to check it out.

  2. I really didn't need it...until I got it. Now I love my gadget!

    It was a little pricey, but I had a gift card to cut the price in half so I splurged.