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Friday, April 16, 2010


My Grandfather on my Mom's side of the family was a bit of a carpenter, and once built us this:

It's a winder for kite string, with a handle to hold onto. Ever since I've started buying yarn in hanks (as opposed to center-pull balls), I've been eyeing it. Surely, surely, I thought, there must be a way to convert this into a ball winder.

Now, I've had a swift for a while, and find it very useful for keeping my yarn from tangling while I wind it by hand. And, truth be told, I very much enjoy winding my yarn by hand. I feel like it gives me a chance to really get to know a yarn before I knit with it. But then I bought this beauty:

It's "Bamboo Fingering"a bamboo/cotton blend from The Great Adirondack Yarn Company in "Amethyst". It's soft, has beautiful, vibrant colours, and comes in 990 yard hanks.

990 yards! I like hand winding, but that is a bit too much. So, I decided it was time to try to Macgyver a ball winder.

I assembled my tools: Kite string holder, cardboard tube, plastic wine cork, hair ties, rubber-bands, and scissors. 

And I put them together like this:

And started to wind. Sure, it was making more of a center-pull football than a center-pull ball, but it would work, and was going much faster than winding be hand. So, I put on a TV show, and happily wound away, checking my work every now and then. But not, it soon became evident, often enough.

Somehow, the loops of yarn started to slide under each other, and before long, I had this:
One big tangle. 

I've managed to untangle most of it, and am now at the point that I know I can untangle the rest without sacrificing any of the yarn. Still, it was rather disappointing to have my little invention fail. I guess I'l be investing in a real winder soon.

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