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Ever since I got my “GnomeAcres” yarn a few weeks back, and starting my “Hitchhiker” scarf with “Aurora Gnomealis”, and then proceeded to wind the yarn into a ball I’ve been thinking about getting a ball winder. I’ve been searching the internet what was around, and what was affordable and what they looked like, where they came from and all that jazz – almost as obsessively as I stalk the GnomeAcres website.

GnomeAcres

None of the local craft stores near me sell anything like it. In fact, they don’t even sell swifts. It’s all about the big commercial yarn – again, something that I’ve been looking into this last few weeks – looking for UK based indie dyers as it’s great to support local businesses [but I am totally going to buy the entire GnomeAcres shop when I win the Lottery]. I like the unique-ness of the indie dyed yarn, and in fact will look into what it will take to dye some of my own and see what happens with that.

Today when I went out and confirmed that no where local sold any hint of a yarn winder I decided that there had to be another way to do it. Something that wouldn’t require expensive, plastic looking equipment – to the point where I was imagining what it would take to engineer one – then realised that I hadn’t tried the one resource that has been a lifesaver in the development of my knitting skills…. YouTube.

I figured that there had to be a way to wind a skein/hank of yarn into a ball/cake that I would be able to use, and something that wouldn’t require the fancy equipment that I had originally thought. And there was. All I needed was a toilet roll tube. Classy.

Here is the first one I did, which was the remaining yarn from the last Heliopath Vest I made:

FB
This went well but for one exception; the yarn that I hadn’t yet worked got all tangled, so I had to spend a great deal of time sorting that out. When I weighed it I think there was a little under 100g, which I want to make into one of Sarah Keen’s “Elephant” but I am unsure wether there will be enough as it’s an Aran weight yarn…

I thought I would try again to perfect the skill – which doesn’t take much to be honest. Here are the before and after pictures:

IMG_0216IMG_0218IMG_0219

The process is really simple:

  • Take a toilet tube [one devoid of paper…]
  • Drop the working end through the tube with a decent length on it in order to keep the working end away from the cake that will be made
  • Wrap the yarn around the tube a few times to give it a base
  • Start turning the tube and continue wrapping the yarn around the tube until you run out of yarn
  • Tuck the end of the yarn into one or two of the wraps you’ve made so that it’s secured and won’t come loose as you’re knitting from the cake.

I used this video to teach me.
Ta-Da!

I’m so pleased that I found this today; I would have committed money into getting a yarn winder for no real reason. Of course, I don’t know how this will work out when I need to wind my lace weight Fyberspates yarn, so watch this space to see how that happens!

That’s all for now folks,

Kiatlho

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