Avoid tangled yarn with a yarn winder

If your yarn ball is a mess or you buy skeins of yarn, the thread can easily get tangled up while you are working on your project. A very effective way of preventing tangled yarn is to wind your yarn into neat balls first.

Tidying up yarn balls

Winding balls of yarn
I used to just wind the balls by hand. This works okay, but the yarn end from the beginning is hidden inside and you can only work with the outer thread. Since I started spinning yarn on a spinning wheel, I really needed a good way to make neat balls out of my new yarn and so I learned about nostepinnes and yarn winders.

A nostepinne is a simple and ancient wooden tool shaped like a tapered stick. With a special winding technique you can wind your yarn around the nostepinne and end up with a neat center-pull yarn ball. This allows you to use both the center and outer tail end to work with. Nostepinnes are pretty and winding yarn this ancient way has its charms, but it is still a bit of a task.

Yarn winders
I ended up buying a yarn winder instead. It is a funny looking UFO shaped thing you attach to a tabletop and that spins at an angle by turning a handle. With this device you can wind perfect flat bottomed center-pull balls of yarn in no time. The finished balls just sit next to you on their flat bottoms and do not roll away when you pull yarn from the center. It made my crafting life easier and it’s fun. I would recommend anyone who works with yarn to try using a yarn winder, not just people with spinning wheels 😉 You can use it to tidy up your yarn stash, transform skeins into balls and to easily make a second ball of yarn if your projects requires you to split your yarn ball into two.

Using a yarn winder

I hope this helps you to make your own non tangly yarn balls too!


2 thoughts on “Avoid tangled yarn with a yarn winder”

  1. Love my yarn winder but find quote often the ball in winding FROM when it gets towards the end tangles as the ball gets loose. Any tips?

    1. Ah yes, when you get near the end and you have a hollow shell it has a tendency to collapse. With bulky yarn I just continue working with that last bit, but with finer yarn that may not be an option. I sometimes rewind it (with the yarn winder again), but in the other direction, from the outside inwards. As a result, I then switch to working with the outside tail of the ball. I’m curious if that would work for you.

      Otherwise, if you need only one yarn end from the ball, you may also like a yarn dispenser with a rotating base, where you can pull the outer yarn end of the ball without it rolling away from you.

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