Thursday 28 February 2013

Thread Winder & Other Things

Look what I just received in the post this morning!

Gorgeous, gorgeous!!

I had been trying (really hard) to be good and not order any more HDT for a while and instead go through my stash... but then I made the mistake of checking out what Jess! was up to...


How could I resist those lovely colours?  From the top is Carnival, Taffilicious and Wildberries.

Anyway, this leads me on to the topic of this blogpost.  I love HDT but... I hate unwinding skeins!  I often chase a family member to ask if they'll hold the skein while I wind or otherwise, rig up some pins on a cushion, or around the arms of a chair or whatever I can think up at the time.  But I'd had enough.   So my brain started whirring and I thought I could make something...  (feeling thrifty and not wanting to spend money).

So here it is:

A bit Heath Robinsonish...
but works a treat!

Would you like to see it in action?

You may laugh, but I wound all my skeins in a fraction of the time it usually takes me.  All that was needed was a tin (a full one for the weight), some cardboard, 4 screws, a pencil and a glue gun.

Then I thought I'd show you the socks I'm currently knitting.  It's the first time I've tried this:  they are knitted both at the same time, from the toe up, on ONE circular needle.  Great idea, as I have suffered from the single sock syndrome in the past so that way, you don't get one abandoned sock (... you may get two, but that's another story).

And lastly, I just wanted to mention that Etsy now has made an instant download feature available to its sellers which is a great thing.  I know that Yarnplayer recently said she had moved her patterns to Craftsy because of that.  I guess Etsy were listening.  I think it's still at the trial stage but I'm in the process of updating my own pattern listings.  It means as soon as you complete payment, the pattern is immediately available for download and remains available to the buyer in their account afterwards.

Best wishes,


  1. Love your socks! I must learn that method of knitting two socks at once. And of course I love Jess's thread. I have a swift, a skein holder that looks like an umbrella. I must admit though, I'm sometimes too lazy to dig it out, and just hold the skein over my knees while I wind it onto a core. Glad your invention does the trick!

  2. I love your swift!! Mine looks quite similar, except it's made of wood, but it looks like the function just the same :o)

    1. Oh, I think "swift" is definitely too grand a word for my little home-made contraption!! But as you say, it works and it didn't cost a penny, so I'm happy!

    2. Well, I love it! I may have to make a couple for around here. On Mondays, I go over to friend's house for "craft night". From time to time I have had the kids really want to help me with winding and unwinding. (not so much fun!) This would be extra perfect to entertain them while allowing myself to work! :o)

    3. Good idea! It sure makes the job of unwinding a whole lot more pleasurable! In fact, I did ALL the skeins I had in my box in the blink of an eye - that was about a dozen of them!

  3. I like the swift. It will come in handy often. The best thing is it works, was inexpensive and will not take up a lot of room to store.

  4. Oooh, I'm waiting for my 'Jess threads' to arrive too. They are irresistible. Love the 'Heath Robinson' contraption. Great idea.

  5. I'd love to make a swift like yours. Could you please describe how you did it? Is there a hole punched in the top of a can of spinach (or something else) for the pencil to fit down into or is the can emptied of its contents and then filled back up with rocks or something? I'm confused and can't figure it out from the video or picture. I'd appreciate your help.

    1. Hi Nena,

      The can is full, unopened (mine has sweetcorn in it!). I cut a short piece of pencil (about 2in long) and made a good blob of hot glue with a glue gun on top of the can and stuck it in there. Then I cut pieces of cardboard 14in long (or the length you need) and just over an inch wide. I have three thicknesses for each arm (to give it a bit of strength). Stuck the layers one of top of the other and taped them too for good measure. I made a hole in the centre of my two arms, big enough so that it's not tight around the pencil, you want it to roll easily. Slide the arms onto the pencil. I used two pins to hold the arms in a cross and then screwed the screws at the ends of the arms (check with the size of your skein to see where to place the screws). Voilà. Hope it works for you!

      Probably not strong enough to do wool but just great for skeins of tatting thread.

  6. Oooh, I'm so glad Nena asked! I couldn't figure out the pencil either. I thought it spun but it doesn't. I have a lovely skein of HDT sitting on my table which I've been looking at for a week. I'm off to get supplies for a swift! Brilliant!!!

  7. I love the thread winder!! You are so creative :)

  8. looks very much like my swift. Glad it works, they are so much handier then chair arms.
    lots of pretty threads there.

  9. Very creative. I put two heavy water glasses upside down on my table, put the skein around them, then wind it onto a large E-Z-Bob. Your thread winder would be faster and allow more time to be tatting! Karen in OR

  10. I like your thread winder, great idea, at least you don't someone half way though saying they need to go to the loo and leaving you in the middle with half skein laying on the chair and you sitting there looking a real twit.

    I knit both sleeves together so the increased are the same both sides, not tried a sock hope you get them both finished.

    I must check out esty as I have one pattern on there at the moment hoping to get some more on there this year.

    Have a nice weekend,


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