Saturday, January 4, 2014

Yarn Winder - Where Have You Been All My Yarn Life?

I made an awesome score on yarn at my favorite local thrift store the other day, and one of the skeins was crazy loose and coming apart in a big twisted mess. Since I really couldn't do much with it in its original state, I decided to let it be the inaugural skein for my new yarn winder :)
I've always loved how balls wound by these babies look, and they seem so easy to manage, so I set to work. I spent a good amount of time unwinding the original skein with one hand (what a pain in the butt, ya'll) while spinning the crank on the winder with the other hand. I also had to support the little guide bar with my left hand while I cranked to keep it up - is this normal, yarn winder aficionados? Or is this just because I have a cheap Chinese one? - but eventually I made it to the end of the skein and came away with 2 neat and tidy balls:

Ah, looks at those nicely wound balls :) Isn't it a lovely sight? After the relatively quick success I had with this skein, a thought came into my head - remember my yarn washing fiasco back in September? You can see the whole gruesome tale here, but as a quick recap I followed some advise I found on Pinterest to wash some yicky looking yarn I got at a thrift store and ended up with this:
A crazed yellow nightmare, right? Well, it's looked exactly like that but been shuffled to various unused surfaces in our office ever since. Until last night! I had a wild hair to wind this up and officially make it usable again (I know, I have the most exciting Friday nights ever). I would unwind/untangle as much as I could until a true knot was found, cut the yarn, untangle the knot, tie it together with a square knot, clip the excess, and continue winding. I repeated this process for about an hour all together (yikes!), but I soldiered on and ended up with this:
Ah, what a beautiful sight! This yarn is certainly not high quality - it's some kind of scratchy acrylic - but I went through the trouble of cleaning it and it came out very bright and fun. I'm so glad I didn't just throw it away when it tangled in the wash! The 4 original skeins ended up weighing 442 grams and it seems to be a heavy worsted weight. By the last few skeins, I don't think I had to cut it at all, just untangle and wind :) I honestly don't know what I will do with all of it, but I originally bought it thinking it would make a cute amigurumi duck, so I will at least stick to that plan.

So what is the point of this post other than to show off my freshly wound former messes of yarn? To go on the record saying that you need a yarn winder! I put this purchase off for far too long and wound several skeins by hand (my back hurts just remembering it). Mine was purchased through ebay for $16 from Hong Kong - not a bad price for such wonderful satisfaction :) Also it was amazingly cheaper than any winders I could find from craft and yarn stores in the US. Anyway, if you've thought about buying one but thought it was frivolous like I did, just stop it right now and do yourself a fantastic favor by buying one. You will not regret it! I was able to take a ridiculous mess and turn it into not only usable yarn, but yarn that pulls from the center and sits flat and wont' roll around as I pull - fantastic!

Now I'm off to wind more yarn balls :)

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