I've thought about yardage counters and skein winders in the past from time to time but never put much energy into researching them until Spinzilla. During that week I spun up 13 skeins of yarn and winding all of those by hand on my niddy noddy wasn't fun. I'm not a commercial dyer or a professional spinner so purchasing a better solution wasn't really a pressing need for me. After Spinzilla it became a bigger "want" and I figured I'd look into something better eventually.
Well, I came across the Ball and Skein booth at the New England Fiber Festival. My friend pointed out that they had the Modular Spindles from KCL Woods that I had recently put on my wish list. Seriously though, such a great idea! I can't believe someone hasn't done this before. So practical and beautiful at the same time and I love that celtic whorl design. While I was checking out the spindles, I saw that the skein winders were being demonstrated. Such a simple yet sturdy design AND it had a counter include for counting your wraps.
It was like a light bulb went off in my head. This was the solution I was looking for! No more sore arms and shoulders from winding the niddy noddy! You just wind the yarn from your bobbin onto the skein winder and it counts how many revolutions. You pre-measure how big the skeins will be and just multiply the number on the counter by how many yards the skein is.
The one I wanted was called The CrankWinder and cost $175. I wasn't prepared to spend that at the festival. We sat down for lunch and I kept thinking "I really want that skein winder". My friend Melanie sat down with us for lunch and I asked her about it. She gave a rave review of both the product and the customer service from the company based on personal experience. That was the final point for me. I called my husband and asked if he would like to get it for me for Christmas. He said "just buy it babe and we'll figure it out when you get home". I ran back to the booth and quickly bought it. So beautiful:
heavy duty ball winder!
Here's a side view of the counter:
My last skein was a heavy weight with only 46 turns on the skein winder. I have it measured out to a 2 yard skein so I just multiply the 46 by 2 to get 92 yards. It all took about 5 minutes to wind off the skein from the bobbin! Using my niddy noddy would take around 20-30 minutes of wrapping each skein and even longer for my thinner yarns.
I am 100% happy with it so far. I get so excited now when it's time to skein up my handspun because it's fun to do now instead of a chore. I would absolutely recommend this for any spinner that is looking to upgrade to the next level of tools without getting in too deep. I can't rave about it enough.