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Old 01-02-2011, 05:57 PM   #1
appercat
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Yarn Ballers
Ok, maybe I've missed the link of a previous discussion.

My question is for all you seasoned knitters, are yarn ballers worth the money? If so, what brand, etc...

I have been knitting off and on for a year and half now, and always just use the skein. Usually about the end of the skein is when it gets all tangled and then I end up just handballing the rest (kinda backwards.. I Know ).. wondering if I should be winding them all before I start the project, would it save time/frustration/etc?

Thanks!!!!
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:17 PM   #2
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I'd rather wind by hand than spend the money on a winder, and sometimes, they wind the yarn too tight. If it's a center pull skein I don't bother winding at all except for the little bit at the end, which doesn't get tangled for me, just all floppy. I only wind the hank skeins.
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:48 PM   #3
Shandeh
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I use my ball winder a LOT.

I can buy fancy hanks of yarn at the yarn shop, and just bring them home to wind into balls later. I don't wind them until I use them, so if I have yarn leftover, I can sell it in it's original form on Ravelry.

Also, I'm learning to spin yarn, and like making yarn "cakes" with my finished yarn.

In addition, I sometimes unravel thrift store sweaters, and the winder is perfect for helping with that.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:47 PM   #4
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Thanks guys... maybe it's a 'birthday' gift idea for the future. Specially if I get more involved in knitting. Taking a break today, did too much yesterday I think. Arm is sore.. LOL. Plus, it doesn't mix with work when I do too much... But can't seem to shut the brain off on that part!
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:38 PM   #5
Jan in CA
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They are called ball winders. If you buy a lot of yarn in hanks (the figure eight type skeins) then it's probably worth it. I usually have the yarn store wind them or I wind them by hand.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
I'd rather wind by hand than spend the money on a winder, and sometimes, they wind the yarn too tight.
As Suzeeq says it is easy to wind to tight on a ball winder. I will wind a ball from the original source and then rewind it again taking the yarn from the outside of the ball. I you wind from the center pull there is tension on the yarn and may stretch the yarn. By rewinding from the outside the tension is less. This gives you yarn that has the most loft I can get.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:37 PM   #7
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I find that since the ball winder has a large center, when you pull off the wound yarn, it has a chance to relax. It makes, as Sandy said, cakes of yarn with a flat top and bottom so it stays put when you knit with it.

My swift and ball-winder spend more time at the dining room table than I do!
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:54 PM   #8
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there's a difference between a swift and ball winder?
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Breezed View Post
there's a difference between a swift and ball winder?
The swift holds the yarn, the ball winder winds the yarn into a ball.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:44 AM   #10
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Swifts & winders...
Hi!

A couple of years ago at Christmas my husband bought me a yarn swift and ball winder. Or rather he let me do my own shopping since he's clueless about knitting treasures!

Always look for sales. Yarn swifts are pricey but you can catch good sales on them if you exercise some patience and vigilance! Which I did....like a cat at a mousehole! But when I finally pounced I got a great deal, saved about $30+. For the ball winder, I had a coupon for AC Moore for 40% of any one item at retail price. The winder they had is a nice one that works well and it was about $40, so I saved $16 and got it for $24. Also, I was shopping in Delaware and there's no sales tax there.

Although I don't use them that often, they are both items that come in VERY handy when you do need them. They're invaluable for winding yarn from "hanks", and I often use my ball winder when I get stuck with tangles in the middle of a center pull skein. Grrrrrrrrrr! one of my pet peeves!

(The swift is that umbrella looking thingy that attaches to your table that you can adjust to fit various sizes of yarn that comes wound in hanks rather than balls. Looking at a picture of it will give you a better idea than my lame description!)

Good luck with your decisions on these things. Let us know how it goes!

Ruthie
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