I’m fairly proficient at hand-winding center-pull balls of yarn… so I put off getting a ball winder for a long time. However, a few weeks ago, I made the move: I purchased a Yarn Ball Winder, and I’m so glad I did!
I’ve worked in 2 different yarn stores over the past few years, and both had very high-quality wooden ball winders. And, even those (very expensive) winders had trouble winding certain skeins of yarn. Silk? Way too slippery… often wound up in a lopsided ball.
So, I was nervous about purchasing a ball winder. I wasn’t prepared to buy a pricey one, and I wondered, ‘how good could a cheap plastic one be?’. Turns out, for under $30, you can have a ball winder that (at least for at-home winding) is supurb!
The ball winder
I purchased the Lacis Ball Winder from Amazon. It’s plastic, under $30 and came with mixed reviews. Most of the reviews were great, and (in my opinion) many of the negative reviews seemed to come either from folks who received a defective unit (and that can happen with any product!) or people who weren’t using the ball winder correctly. So, I gave it a try.
I started out winding some balls, and they all came out beautifully. Then, I gave it the real test: a skein of lace-weight 100% silk yarn. And here’s how it did:
Success! No slipping… just one beautifully wound ball!
I wound a whole lot of yarn! Here are what I think are the negatives of this ball winder:
- The clamp is only 1.25″. So, for me (who lives with a lot of uber-thick Ikea furniture), the only place I could clamp the winder was on the arm of a chair. This may or may not be a problem for you.
- The yarn feeder needs to be pulled firmly to be engaged. If you yank on the skein a lot, the feeder will become loose (this happened to me on about 1 out of 10 balls). Having a swift would minimize this problem.
- It’s a small capacity winder. If you want to wind skeins larger than 4 oz, you’ll need the jumbo size. (4 ounces is the recommended maximum… I squeezed on much more!)
There’s a lot to love about this winder!
- It’s inexpensive: for under $30 you get a winder that will take care of almost all of your yarn-winding needs!
- The winder handled bulky and lace-weight yarns wonderfully. It also would very slippery yarns with ease.
- It’s lightweight and portable.
So, if you’ve been thinking about getting a ball winder, I recommend it!