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Topic: yarn ball winder question  (Read 912 times)
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whyme81687
« on: October 10, 2007 10:47:34 AM »

i asked this in the crochet forum but i might get more answers here so here goes. My mom has agreed to buy me a yarn ball winder for Christmas! Woo hoo!!! Only condition is because she doesn't know what to look for she wants me to pick one out purchase it and have it shipped to her house. But i'm looking and i don't really know what to look for in a yarn ball. I've noticed that the weight of yarn the winder can hold is important. So i'd like something that can hold more than 4 oz cuz i really hate starting new balls of yarn when i crochet but i also don't want anything too expensive. $50 is around my limit. I might be able to go a little higher.

I've searched a little and i've found these two that i'm intersted in

I don't know what brand this is or how much weight it holds if anyone has it please let me know your opinion. I don't know very much about it:
http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat2074&PRODID=prd20753

and this one from knitpicks:
http://knitpicks.com/Ball+Winder_AD80001.html

Anybody's help would be appreciated i'd really like to know what i should be looking for specifically i don't want to buy something that is only going to disappoint me in the end
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DevaKali
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2007 11:06:52 AM »

Hello,
I own the one on the knit picks site, and it can actually (just barely) wind a full skein of brooks farm (8oz). It makes a giant cake (see here: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2358/1528338326_2c0ba80754_o.jpg ). It also handles small 2oz skeins w/ no trouble.

I have had few problems with it, but it does need a table or shelf edge to attach to...
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whyme81687
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2007 12:15:58 PM »

Thanks! What problems have you had? Are they big issues?
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DevaKali
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2007 01:18:36 PM »

The main issue is attaching it, My first end table was too thick for the clamp. It really needs a "ledge"... Also, if you are using a swift with a clamp to feed the ball winder, you may have to get creative with the way you set them both up, since you can only clamp the winder from the front. (That may not make sense, sorry... its hard to explain!) It has never prevented me from being able to use it, just sometimes required some extra creativity.

Also, if you are forcing it (trying to wind yarn that is caught on something or in a knot at the other end), the spindle piece can come loose.

Overall, I have been VERY happy with it, and at least two friends have purchased (or plan to) the same model after using mine.
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2007 06:46:45 PM »

I also have this ballwinder (they are the same company i'm pretty sure, as mine came from joanns but looks exactly like the knitpicks one--Royal is the only company that I know of that makes them in this price range).   I love it to pieces, and it makes GINORMOUS balls of yarn.  I would have to agree with DevaKali, though:  you have to have a perfectly flat place to attach.  All of the tables in my house wouldn't work, including endtables and nightstands.  Luckily the kitchen counter is formica, and perfectly square.  Other than that, its a great little machine and is well worth the $30 or $40 you will spend on it. 

Keep in mind (and this is with any center-pull ball):  it will only really work with wool, as the barbs that cling to each other are the only things that will keep the outside from collapsing in on itself and making a big mess once the inside is partially used up.  The barbs, in other words, are the cement that keep the walls of the ball (or cake, in this case) together.  Does that make sense?  Of course you can try it with other fibers (heck, i've done so before and I'll do so again) but i can tell you its kind of a headache once you get so far.  In that case I just find the outside end and wind it up again into an even teenier ball.

go get one, they rock!
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Star217
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2007 08:05:27 AM »

They are all the same, I think the jo-ann photo is just a bit dated. If I were you I would get you mom to purchase it from joanns now because they are on sale for 23 bucks!!
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whyme81687
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2007 08:07:21 AM »

I just looked and it said the one i wanted from joanns is like discontinued it appears i waited too long. Oh and my dad agreed to make me a yarn swift too cuz he's good with wood and all that crap i'm a lucky lucky girl. hehe.
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askthebellwether
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007 11:01:25 AM »

I have my royal ball winder permanently attached to a 2x6 board about  24" long.  I tuck the board under my thigh on my chair and wind away. No looking for a sharp-edged table any more.  I've seen other people attach it permanently to a 6" square of wood with a wooden handle attached underneath -- they hold the handle and wind away with their other hand.  I'm not that coordinated ;-)
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2007 10:50:41 AM »

I was able to pick one up on ebay for $10.  I haven't used it yet though - old habit are hard to break I and keep using my nostepinne.  DH is playing around on his lathe so I have 2 new ones now!
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christy_cooper
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2007 06:51:38 PM »


I used the "Knitting Answers" book as a portable surface to clamp my ballwinder to. It's just the right size! Cheesy
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