Knitting With QueerJoe – All About Ball-Winders

It’s been a while. But I finally got around to recording a new episode of Knitting With QueerJoe. And today, it’s all about ball-winders.

Comparison of Three Different Ball-Winders

Do you own a ball-winder?  Do you like it?  Have you ever looked at better ball-winders?

Is yours plastic and inexpensive? (promotional link)

Are you looking to upgrade to a jumbo winder? (promotional link)

Or are you looking to get a nice hand-crafted fine-wood winder?

Prices, quality and usefulness have changed a lot over the years since I’ve been knitting when it comes to ball-winders.

It’s been a while since I recorded an episode of Knitting With QueerJoe, but if you want a good comparison of ball-winders, you’ll want to watch this episode.

I’d also like to hear about your experience with ball-winders. So all the blog readers can hear opinions other than mine.

Current Knitting

I made some great progress on the Usonian Shawl in the last two days.

Usonian Shawl 08-18-21 02

Usonian Shawl 08-18-21 01

Photos do not convey how soft and beautiful this yarn is. And how well it’s knitting up with this design. I am so grateful to be exposed to newer knitters who are exposing me to some great designs.

It’s also one of those designs that starts out with 3 stitches. And goes to around 200 stitches. So the knitting goes a lot more slowly as I progress.

Fortunately, it’s a fun knit, so I look forward to finishing each section. And starting the next section.

9 comments on “Knitting With QueerJoe – All About Ball-Winders

  1. Hi Joe,
    I have one very similar to the Stanford, and use it with my sock machine. Once wound, I leave the yarn on the bobbin/cone, take it off the winder, and crank from the bobbin.
    Works very well!

    1. That’s a great idea. I tried fitting any of my cones in the bobbin and none of them fit. It never occurred to me to use the bobbin core as the cone! Thank you.

        1. Hi Joe
          I have the plastic one with the red.
          That’s all I know about but I plan to watch the video when I get a chance ☮️💖🙂

  2. Hey Joe!

    Great video. I understood exactly what you were describing. I have a cheapie plastic winder that’s a tad better than the one you have (the gears are hidden.) I just keep having that slippage to the bottom. It doesn’t just create tangles, it creates points of contact when I’m knitting. The yarn I’m pulling is rubbing against a tangle I don’t see yet. The pulled yarn gets less fuzzy, the yarn it’s rubbing against sometimes bonds to the pulled yarn, sigh… you get the picture. I also wonder sometimes if it’s the density as well. Sometimes a cake will be tightly packed at the center and get progressively looser as the cake builds. Speed maybe? One thing I love about the pricier wooden winder is the quiet and the flat handle. My wrists and elbows are really sensitive so I love the larger hand movement.

    Your video is so timely! I think I’m going to go with the last one (non wooden.) Although it’s not whisper quiet. I tend to wind yarn when everyone’s gone to bed. The yarns I wind (usually hand-spun) vary widely and I just hate breakage because of slippage.

    Thank you Joe! I’ll be sure to mention your name.

  3. Hi Joe
    I have the plastic one with the red.
    That’s all I know about but I plan to watch the video when I get a chance ☮️💖🙂

  4. I was fascinated to watch your review of the three different types of ball winders. Some really useful information there, thank you. I have an inexpensive plastic ball winder from Knitpicks that has served me well over the years. I also have a great coffee table, actually a rather solid glass top on an antique crab trap, that it clamps to very nicely, so there is that. Once thing that really helped me make neat cakes was that I took the core from a roll of toilet paper, slit it down the side, put it ver the core of the ball winder, snugged it and added a piece of tape to hold it tight ( later upgraded to a cut-to-measure piece of fun foam carefully taped together.) between that and winding,ore slowly ( very zen-like) I almost always get very nice cakes. I would really like to buy a better winder, but I can buy a $82-$150 ball winder or another $82-$150 yarn. Yep, yarn it is.

  5. Hey Joe,
    Nice presentation….inspired to venture beyond my inexpensive plastic ones.

    I do have a Daruma twister winder..sort of double inexpensive plastic motion….theoretically plies two different yarns. Have you tried one? I don’t think they ply tightly enough, though maybe I’m doing it wrong.

  6. I have the red/white one. I’ve had it for MANNNNY years and it is still functioning for me. I also make balls by ‘hand’ with a nostepinne when I really want to have a ‘zen’ moment (hour-lol) I’ve thought about wood ‘winders’ but if it aint’ broke don’t fix it. 🙂

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