DIY Yarn Swift & Ballwinder

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Last week I finally succumbed and ordered some Malabrigo Lace yarn. I just had to get some of their pretty colors. But why did I never do that before? They aren't really more expensive than other yarns but well they aren't balled yet. *gasp* Yes, I know I'm lazy but it's not only that. Last year the wonderful Caro gave me some Malabrigo Sock yarn in Tiziano Red and I tried to make my own ball. That's the result:

Bf holding the ruined yarn.
As you can see I suck at that. It took us hours to unravel that- okay actually 2 days speant in front of tv unraveling  instead of knitting. Meh for that.

So after that fiasco I asked Caro how she makes her pretty balls. And she told me about her ball winder and how great that is. So I googled and discovered that a ball winder is freakish expensive (at least for me: 30-40€ that's like 6 books or enough yarn to make at least 3 shawls). So I asked bf if we could just build one ourselves. After googleing at work on how to build your own ballwinder we discovered that we should also build a yarn swift (I'm such a newbie at stuff like this). So that was our plan.

We build both out of stuff we had at hand so it actually cost us nothing. Here's the yarn swift:
Self made yarn swift
The under-construction is a turn table originally bought for a tv. The white thingies are an old and unused curtain rail.. In the middle we cut some of the plastic out so we could cross it. We measured the distance the  pencils should have and drilled some holes in it.  Here is it with some pretty Vermillion on it:
Malabrigo Lace Vermillion 
The ball winder was actually even easier. We found some online instructions that told us to use and electric drill which I found rather scary. But luckily we found some antique thingie in our cellar- a really OLD hand powered drill. So I added some foam distance holders ,which are actually used under chair legs,  to a pencil  and we were ready to go:
Self made ball winder (and yes we're watching Star Trek - The Animated Series at the  moment)
So the winding started and 21minutes later we have a ball of wonderful yarn:

I actually don't pull the pencils out cuz I'm a scaredy cat. But well it's better than my first attempt at making my own  ball.

After accomplishing this I have to say yet again it rocks to live in an engineering household.

What's the best thing you ever build yourself? 
Do you have a ballwinder or can you actually make real balls without it?


MrsMixx said...

So how great does it feel to have your own McGyver?
I didn't know the extend of the yarn collapse omg that sounds horrible.
I had once a knotting nightmare while balling some yarn. I thought I would cry.

I'm ashamed to say I can't build shit! But my dad always do things himself and it's fantastic.
Like for example, last year when I had to block the cube...i knitted 4 sides in the round and i had no idea how to block that perfectly. Well my dad made me a custom size blocking plank. LOL and I used NAILS to fix it down. LOL
That was my first blocking experiment =P

Aurian said...

Wow, that is great! At the office i need to use some yarn occasionally, and at the end I role it myself into a neat little ball. As a child I used to "punik" a lot, and I used lots of left over yarn from my grandmother and aunts. So yes. I do know how to make a nice ball of yarn.

Unknown said...

Oh my Susi, you two are amazing!! It never would have occurred to me to build my own yarn machines :-D Congrats and it truly looks great :-D

SusiSunshine said...

@pattepoilue I do love my McGyver and OMG you should have made a pic of that blocking thing. I love that cube!!

@Aurian LOL I have to say I always thought I knew how to do that too but faced with 470m of this one I was seriously scared. I balled the first skein myself and no kidding I actually felt dizzy when I was done. LOL

@Stella Thanks sweety. Well being desperate makes you consider this LOL

fishgirl182 said...

i have my own ball winder and swift. invested in them early on. i can make a ball on my own but it takes awhile. much more fun with a contraption. that's really cool that you made your own though. use that money for books. :)

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