Bobbin Winder

My husband, the engineer, decided last night as we were falling asleep, that their had to be a solution that would speed the winding process. Perhaps I haven’t shared the math publicly: our fair isle yarn coop has to wind 24 sets of 320 yarns with 5 yards of Shetland 2 ply on a floss bobbin. This equals a little under 8000 bobbins. Gail has already wound 24 balls, averaging 35 minutes to complete one color. Taking into consideration the winding Gail has done, and four hours at the Greenwood Library on Sunday, we have about 140 hours of winding ahead of us.  


After a bit of fiddling, he settled on a simple solution: a cordless drill and a binder clip.


He started by laying out two pieces of board on either end of his workbench, exactly 2.5 yards apart. My swift is mounted to his router table at the far end of the workbench. After measuring the exact length,


he attached a bobbin to his drill,


and let it rip.

Lance’s bobbin winder brings the task of winding on ball of yarn down to 16 minutes. The only problem with this whole system is that you have to work in the garage and it is 40 degrees outside.

In case you want to see the master in action, I took a 30 second video:


5 Responses to “Bobbin Winder”

  1. 1 Naomi Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Oh my god Leah. What a guy you have!!!

    That is so darn funny! I LOVE innovation! Now I just need to try that at my house! I’m certainly going to give it a try!

    I cracked up at Ferals when your husband came in to make the delivery on Monday. He’s a funny guy.

    Re: my Ruth’s Kauni cardi – the guage is 6 sts/inch.

  2. 2 Linda Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at 5:58 pm


    I think I’ll do mine by hand…don’t think I want to trust my husband and 23 other peoples yarn and a power tool in that close proximity…it just reeks of disaster.

  3. 3 Walkyria Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 3:14 am

    I don’t know if it is my computer or what… but the video is not showing up?

  4. 4 kneek Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 5:19 am

    If the video isn’t appearing, try refreshing your browser. That happened to Lance when he looked at it from his office computer today, but on the second try the video appeared.

  5. 5 Gail Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    Power Tools! Trust a smart guy to come up with such a brilliant solution!

    Thanks for the laugh, but I agree with Linda—in my hands this solution is an incipient disaster!

    Please thank Lance also for his dramatic and funny appearance at Feral Knitters. It was the highlight of the evening.

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