Yarn Ball Winder 101: Types, Comparison, How to and FAQs

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If you love knitting, you might want to consider getting a yarn ball winder. It’s a handy tool that can make your work easier and save you time.

Using a yarn ball winder requires some manual effort, but it can do a great job if you have enough time. Winding yarn by hand can be tiring and put a strain on your wrists, shoulders, and arms, causing discomfort and pain.

With a yarn ball winder, you can wind your skeins of yarn into neat, compact balls that are easy to work with. This can help prevent tangles and save you the hassle of having to untangle knots. Overall, a yarn ball winder can be an excellent investment for anyone who enjoys knitting and wants to make their work more efficient and enjoyable

Therefore, below is the full detail on the manual and electric yarn ball winder.


Manual Vs. Electric ball yarn winders

Are you tired of winding your yarn by hand? A ball winder might just be the solution to your problems. But which one should you choose: a manual or electric ball winder? Let’s explore the differences between the two.

Manual ball winders are operated by hand, using a crank to turn the gears and wind the yarn. They are typically smaller and less expensive than electric winders, making them a good choice for beginners or those on a budget. They are also lightweight and portable, so you can take them with you wherever you go.

Electric ball winders, on the other hand, are powered by electricity and can wind yarn much faster than manual winders. They are larger and heavier than manual winders, making them less portable. They can also be more expensive than manual winders, but they make up for it in speed and convenience.

So, which one is better? It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you don’t mind winding yarn by hand and want a more affordable option, a manual ball winder might be right for you. But if you have a lot of yarn to wind and want to do it quickly and efficiently, an electric ball winder might be worth the investment.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing a ball winder is the size of the yarn cakes it produces. Some manual winders can only make small to medium-sized cakes, while electric winders can make larger cakes. If you like to work with large amounts of yarn, an electric winder might be the way to go.

Ultimately, the decision between a manual and electric ball winder comes down to personal preference and budget. Both options will help you wind yarn quickly and easily, so you can spend more time on the fun part – knitting or crocheting!

Yarn Ball Winder 101

Step by step guide to setting up a Yarn Ball Winder

If you’re a yarn enthusiast, you know how important it is to have a yarn ball winder in your toolkit. A ball winder helps you wind yarn into neat and tidy balls, making it easier to store and use. If you’ve just purchased a new yarn ball winder, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set it up.

Step 1: Unbox the Yarn Ball Winder

When you receive your yarn ball winder, carefully unbox it and make sure that all the parts are included in the package. Check the instructions manual that came with it to make sure everything is there.

Step 2: Assemble the Yarn Ball Winder

Assemble the yarn ball winder by attaching the yarn guide arm, the yarn guide, and the spindle. Then, attach the yarn guide to the front of the yarn ball winder.

Step 3: Mount the Yarn Ball Winder

Mount the yarn ball winder onto a flat surface using the clamp provided with it. Make sure that it is securely attached to prevent it from wobbling or moving while winding the yarn.

Step 4: Thread the Yarn onto the Yarn Ball Winder

Thread the end of your yarn through the yarn guide, and then onto the spindle. Turn the spindle a few times to make sure the yarn is secure.

Step 5: Start Winding the Yarn

Start winding the yarn by turning the handle of the yarn ball winder in a clockwise direction. Use a steady and consistent pace to ensure even winding. Make sure that the yarn is winding evenly and the ball is forming correctly.

Step 6: Finish Winding the Yarn

Once you have wound all the yarn onto the ball, cut the end of the yarn and tuck it into the ball. Gently slide the ball off the spindle and use as desired.

Step 7: Clean and Store the Yarn Ball Winder

After you have finished using the yarn ball winder, clean it with a dry cloth to remove any dust or debris. Store it in a safe and dry place, ready for your next use.

That’s it! With these simple steps, you can set up your yarn ball winder and start creating neat and organized yarn balls for your knitting or crochet projects. Remember to take your time and practice winding until you get comfortable with the process. Happy yarn winding!


Tips For Using a Yarn Ball Winder

If you’re a crafter who loves to knit or crochet, a yarn ball winder can be a great tool to have. It helps you turn hanks of yarn into neat and tidy balls that are easy to work with. But using a yarn ball winder can take some practice and technique. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your yarn ball winder:

  1. Make sure the yarn is securely attached to the winder: When you start winding, hold onto the end of the yarn to ensure it doesn’t slip or get tangled.
  2. Wind the yarn slowly and steadily: This will help prevent tangles or knots from forming in the yarn as it winds around the winder.
  3. Adjust the tension as needed: Depending on the thickness and texture of the yarn, you may need to adjust the tension on the yarn ball winder. A tighter tension is needed for thicker yarn, while a looser tension is better for thinner yarn.
  4. Don’t overfill the winder: It’s important to not put too much yarn on the winder at once, as this can cause it to jam or stop working properly. It’s better to wind smaller balls and then connect them as needed.
  5. Be mindful of the yarn’s direction: As you wind the yarn around the winder, pay attention to the direction you’re winding in. You want the yarn to wind in a consistent direction so that it doesn’t twist or knot up when you start using it.
  6. Keep the winder clean and well-maintained: Over time, yarn fibers and dust can accumulate on the winder, which can affect its performance. Make sure to clean it regularly and follow any maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to use your yarn ball winder more effectively and enjoy the benefits of neatly wound yarn balls. Happy crafting!


Frequently Asked Questions

Yarn Ball Winder 101 FAQ

How to wind a yarn with the ball winder

Are you new to using a yarn ball winder and not sure how to wind a yarn? Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it may seem. Here’s a step-by-step guide to winding a yarn with a ball winder:

Step 1: Set up your winder

Firstly, ensure that your ball winder is set up on a sturdy surface. Ensure that the clamp or suction cups are securely attached to prevent the winder from moving around while you’re winding the yarn.

Step 2: Thread the yarn

Thread the yarn through the guide on the top of the winder and then through the yarn guide on the front of the winder. Pull the yarn down and loop it around the center spindle of the winder.

Step 3: Start winding

Turn the handle of the winder in a clockwise direction to begin winding the yarn. Keep winding until you have a ball of yarn of the desired size.

Step 4: Finishing the ball

Once you have the desired amount of yarn wound onto the ball winder, cut the yarn and tie it off. Gently slide the ball off the spindle and remove any leftover yarn from the winder.

That’s it! With these simple steps, you can easily wind your yarn into neat and organized balls that are easy to store and use.

Here are some additional tips for winding yarn with a ball winder:

1. If the yarn is getting tangled, slow down the winding process and adjust the tension of the yarn.

2. If you’re winding a delicate or fine yarn, be gentle with the winding process to avoid breaking or damaging the yarn.

3. Experiment with different tension settings on the winder to find the perfect tension for each type of yarn.

4. Consider using a swift to hold the yarn in place while winding for even tension and less tangling.

By following these tips and steps, you can easily wind your yarn into beautiful balls that are ready to use for your next knitting or crocheting project.

How to make yarn ball winder?

Making your own yarn ball winder can be a fun and rewarding project for craft enthusiasts. Here are some basic steps to follow:

Gather materials

You will need a few simple items to build a yarn ball winder. These include a wooden dowel or metal rod, a large wooden block or base, screws, washers, and a yarn guide or tensioner.

Cut the dowel or rod

Using a saw, cut the dowel or rod to your desired length. This will depend on the size of your winder and how much yarn you want to wind at once.

Attach the dowel or rod to the base

Using screws and washers, attach the dowel or rod to the center of the wooden block or base. Make sure it is securely fastened and doesn’t wobble.

Add a yarn guide

You can use a commercial yarn guide or make your own by attaching a small wooden dowel or rod to the base at an angle. This will help guide the yarn smoothly onto the winder.

Add a tensioner

A simple tensioner can be made by wrapping a rubber band around the dowel or rod and hooking it onto a small nail or screw on the base. This will create just the right amount of tension to wind the yarn evenly.

Test your winder

Before using your yarn ball winder, give it a test run to make sure it is working properly. Adjust the tension and guide as needed.

Remember, making your own yarn ball winder requires some basic woodworking skills and tools. If you’re not comfortable with DIY projects, there are many commercially available yarn ball winders to choose from.

How can you use a yarn swift and a ball winder?

A yarn swift and a ball winder are two handy tools that make the process of winding yarn a lot easier. Here’s how you can use them together:

First, set up the yarn swift on a table or counter. The swift will hold the yarn while it’s being wound onto the ball winder.

Next, take the end of the yarn and tie it to the ball winder. Make sure it’s securely tied so the yarn doesn’t come loose during winding.

Place the ball winder on a flat surface near the yarn swift. Turn the ball winder handle to start winding the yarn onto the winder.

As you turn the handle, the ball winder will spin and wind the yarn onto itself. Make sure to guide the yarn as it winds to prevent tangling or uneven winding.

When you’re finished winding the yarn, cut the end of the yarn and tuck it under the last few winds to secure it.

Slide the yarn off the ball winder and your freshly wound yarn ball is ready to use!

Using a yarn swift and a ball winder together can save a lot of time and frustration. The swift holds the yarn taut and helps prevent tangles while the ball winder creates a neat, even yarn ball. Happy knitting!

Why do you need a swift with a yarn ball winder?

A swift is used in combination with a yarn ball winder to hold the yarn skein in place and help it unwind smoothly while the winder turns it into a ball. Without a swift, the yarn may tangle or twist, making it difficult to wind into a neat ball.

A swift allows the yarn to unwind freely and smoothly, and also helps maintain tension while winding. This results in a neat, even ball of yarn that is easy to work with.

In summary, a swift is a helpful tool to use in conjunction with a yarn ball winder as it ensures that the yarn is properly aligned and tensioned while winding, resulting in a better-looking ball of yarn that is easier to work with.

Why do you use a yarn ball winder?

A yarn ball winder is a tool that is used to wind hanks or skeins of yarn into tidy and compact balls. There are several reasons why you would want to use a yarn ball winder:


Winding your yarn into neat balls makes it easier to organize and store. It takes up less space than hanks or skeins, and you can stack them neatly in a box or on a shelf.


Wound yarn is much easier to work with than unwound yarn. You can pull from the center of the ball, which prevents it from rolling around and getting tangled.


A ball winder creates uniform balls of yarn, which ensures that the tension and thickness are consistent throughout. This is especially important if you are working on a project that requires multiple balls of yarn.


Winding a ball of yarn by hand can be a time-consuming process. A ball winder can wind a ball of yarn in just a few minutes, freeing up your time for more important things, like knitting or crocheting.

Overall, a yarn ball winder is a useful tool for any fiber artist, whether you are a beginner or an experienced crafter. It can make your yarn easier to work with, more organized, and save you time in the process.

How tight should a yarn ball binder work?

A yarn ball winder should work tight enough to create a well-formed and secure yarn ball, but not so tight that it damages the yarn or affects the tension of the ball.

The level of tightness can depend on various factors, including the type and thickness of the yarn being wound, the speed of winding, and personal preference.

In general, it’s important to monitor the winding process and adjust the tension as necessary to ensure that the resulting yarn ball is both sturdy and usable for future knitting or crocheting projects.

Why use a yarn ball winder instead of a skein of yarn?

Using a yarn ball winder can offer several benefits compared to using a skein of yarn. Here are a few reasons why you might choose to use a yarn ball winder:

Easier to work with

A skein of yarn can be difficult to work with because it can easily become tangled or knotted. Using a yarn ball winder creates a compact, center-pull ball that is easy to work with and less likely to become tangled.

Saves time

Winding a skein of yarn by hand can be a time-consuming task. Using a yarn ball winder can save time and effort, allowing you to spend more time actually working on your project.

Consistent yarn cakes

When you wind a skein of yarn by hand, the resulting ball can be uneven, with some sections thicker or thinner than others. A yarn ball winder creates a consistent, even cake of yarn that is easier to work with.


Yarn ball winders can help with storage, as they create a compact, organized ball of yarn that takes up less space than a loose skein of yarn.

Overall, using a yarn ball winder can make the process of working with yarn smoother, more efficient, and more enjoyable.


In conclusion, a yarn ball winder is an essential tool for any knitter or crocheter. It saves time and effort, ensures consistent yarn tension, and provides neatly wound yarn balls that are easy to use. Whether you choose a manual or electric yarn ball winder, following the proper steps for setup and use can make all the difference in achieving the best results. With a little practice and some helpful tips, you’ll soon be enjoying the many benefits of using a yarn ball winder in your crafting projects. Happy winding!


Welcome, everyone! Karl D. McGrath is an American Blogger and philanthropist based in the charming town of Thomasville, Georgia. As the founder of Ready For Ten, he is passionate about sharing his love for family, kids, home improvement, tools, outdoor activities, and kitchen gadgets with the world. With a natural talent for storytelling, Karl's writing style is warm, engaging, and down-to-earth. He has a gift for making even the most mundane topics come alive with his humor and wit, which has earned him a loyal following of readers who appreciate his honest and relatable voice. When he's not tapping away at his keyboard, Karl can be found spending time with his beloved wife, kids, and close friends. He is deeply committed to giving back to his community and works closely with several charities to make a positive impact on people's lives. Above all, Karl has a passion for making people laugh and feel good, whether it's through his writing, his charitable work, or simply sharing a joke over a cup of coffee. He is a true embodiment of the American spirit, and his dedication to family, community, and kindness is an inspiration to us all. If you would like to chat with him please feel free to reach out via facebook or twitter or email.

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