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Yarn Winder Review
Here is my review of a 'Hand Operated Yarn Winder' which I recently bought on Ebay. It seems that there is one main type of yarn winder available to buy online, and they are very cheap ranging from £8 to £15 including postage. These are the cream and red plastic ones, which clamp to a table ahead of use.
Yarn winders are used to neatly wind left over yarn for storage or to divide up yarn cakes ahead of making an item so that you know precisely the colours and length of these that the cake has. Both knitters and crocheters would probably find a yarn winder useful. Up until now I've always wound yarn by hand, however if you have a lot of yarn to wind it can cause aches and pains - recently I had really sore arms after doing a large batch of winding!
As you can see the yarn winder creates very neat cakes or balls of yarn ready for storing in your yarn stash or for use in your current project. It's very easy to assemble. Simply put the spindle in place on the geared base and twist to lock. Then insert the wire yarn guide into the slot in the back. I must admit that initially I didn't get this locked into place hard enough and had to ask fellow crocheters what I was doing wrong. They advised to really pull it hard to lock into place, and since then I've had no problems.
The yarn can jump around and get a bit tangled if you wind the handle too fast, and I find it works best if you place your yarn in a bowl to allow it to move freely and without losing it on the floor under your chair! I also gently hold the yarn coming from the bowl with my fingers to guide it and keep a little tension in it.
To release your cake of wound yarn you simply lift it off the winder and you can then use yarn from the centre or outside of the cake.
I would thoroughly recommend investing in a yarn winder, it's very useful when you need to divide up a multi-coloured yarn cake to find the colour you require and to check on the length of that particular colour before starting the next section of your pattern. Additionally it means that less of your yarn goes to waste, as you can keep track of the left over and useful pieces you have across your projects. Having a neatly wound cake of yarn in your stash prevents jumbles and knots forming and encourages you to find ways of using your left over colours. Take a peek at the handmade crocheted items yay retro! has for sale right now!
I use yarn cakes to make crochet shawls, wraps, scarves or cowls like this one.